Become a Student Volunteer

“Each year, around 200 students take part in pro bono activities through UEA Law Clinic.”

Polly MorganLaw Clinic Director

The UEA Law Clinic provides students with the opportunity to get involved in pro-bono activities and work in partnership with leading local and national charities. Interested in volunteering with us? The pro bono activities at UEA Law Clinic will help to shape your university experience by:

  • Developing your substantive legal knowledge of many different areas of law
  • Increasing your tactical awareness and strategizing how to run a case
  • Improve practical legal skills, for example by undertaking welfare benefits tribunal advocacy
  • Developing your knowledge of professional ethics and the regulatory context
  • Developing soft skills such as client care, when dealing with people with significant personal difficulties
  • Working to deadlines, especially those imposed by a court or tribunal
  • Working as part of a team
  • Thinking holistically about what help the client needs, including non-legal and legal, and liaising with official agencies for the clients’ benefit
  • Having an appreciation of the social context in which a legal problem arises
  • Making you feel part of the local community as well as part of the UEA community
  • Feel good about making a difference to people’s lives

“The Clinic have aided in the recovery of £10m in welfare benefits wrongly denied to members of the public.”

CEONorfolk Community Law Service

As a UEA Law Student, you have the opportunity to become part of UEA’s award-winning Law Clinic. The Clinic enables you to volunteer in a wide range of pro bono (volunteer) activities provided by our partnerships. The work of our students within the Law Clinic has gained national recognition and has been awarded ‘Best Pro Bono Activities’ at the prestigious LawCareers.Net Student Law Society Awards, in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Volunteering is open for all undergraduate and postgraduate law students. Graduate Diploma students can join, but do be aware that the course is rigorous and you may have limited time. Consider perhaps one of our short-term projects for Norfolk Community Foundation instead of all-year volunteering.

Almost all students who want to join UEA Law Clinic can do so, but often subject to safeguarding requirements and always subject to behaviour. Access to some teams is by selection only (via application and interview), and all students must act professionally and in the best interests of their clients, most of whom are very vulnerable. Students must remember that their behaviour outside the clinic affects the reputation of the clinic and its partners.

You can find detailed info on what volunteers do on our Get Advice page.

Getting started

We encourage students to develop their roles and expertise across the years of their degree. For example, many first year law students start with Street Law. As a Street Law team member, you may find yourself going to a local school to lead fun activities including mock trials, quizzes and game shows, participating in University Open Days ‘Law Taster’ events on campus or informing members of the public about their legal rights. Street Law will develop your confidence with the law, whilst putting your academic learning into practice in the real world. As well as enhancing your understanding of law, you will be able to deal with a diverse range of people of all ages and boost your employability.

In the spring of your first year, you might make an application to volunteer with Norfolk Community Law Service, or wait for applications to Shelter, Equal Lives, or Norfolk Citizens Advice Service. You might have limited time and want to do a discrete short-term project for the Norfolk Community Foundation. Alternatively, you may be excited by the opportunity to investigate possible miscarriages of justice with our Justice Project team.

The recruitment cycle

Our partners tell us when they wish to recruit students so we cannot guarantee when opportunities will be opened to students and there may be years when some services are not open to new recruits. By way of indication, this is the usual pattern of recruitment:

March - Norfolk Community Law Service opens applications to students to be up and running for September.

Shelter - recruitment currently closed but likely to recruit for academic year 2024/25 to replace students that have graduated

Summer - Equal Lives open applications for volunteers

Citizens Advice - not known

Business Clinic - recruiting in spring for training followed by proper start in October

Autumn semester - Norfolk Foundation short-term projects; Justice Project recruitment; Street Law recruitment


The Business Clinic

The Business Clinic operates in association with law firm Birketts LLP and business support organisation Menta. Students will be a key part of running this clinic, supporting the advisors, meeting clients, and developing relationships and experience that may help in students’ future careers. It will run monthly, on (roughly) the second Friday of each month. We are looking to recruit students to start next September and to be trained before the end of this academic year. Responsibilities will include:

  • Writing up client requests and offering appointments.
  • Emailing and calling clients for confirmations and other matters.
  • Ensure conflicts are avoided.
  • Writing attendance notes in meetings.
  • Liaise with the advisors.
  • Be friendly and personable!

You will have the opportunity to play an active role in advising clients in the business community as they set up, grow, troubleshoot, and sell their businesses, partnerships, and companies. In doing so, you will be able to see the way in which your academic learning works in practice, and build links with advisors who are well placed to help you develop your careers.

The time estimate is 6 hours per month. We are also looking for team leaders for this project. The deadline for applications is Friday 29th March 3pm.

The application form is here:

Norfolk Community Law Service

UEA Law students are invited to apply for a volunteering place at NCLS for the 2024/25 academic year. Please note that this opportunity is by competitive applications which are shortlisted followed by interviews. The application form has been circulated by email from the Law School Office.

You should only apply if you are committed to volunteering at NCLS for at least the entire academic year, including over Christmas and Easter breaks, and during assessment deadlines, which may include volunteering remotely from your family home. However, you can of course book annual leave - just don't suddenly leave the team in the lurch as your contributions are essential.

Applications should be returned in PDF format only with the file name as your full name followed by either ‘Application’ or ‘Equality Monitoring’, depending on the document. For example, Tom Smith Application. Applications to be sent via email by 5pm on 14th April 2024 to both:

Niahl Hubbard - Operations & Volunteer

And Selina Watts -

Applications received after this time will not be accepted.

Interviews will be held in mid/ late April. Brief feedback after interviews will be available for unsuccessful candidates.

Please note: if you are already volunteering at NCLS you do not need to re-apply as you will have already been asked to express an interest in staying on. If you haven’t yet confirmed a place for next year, please contact Niahl to confirm this.

“Volunteering at Norfolk Community Law Service has been one of the best decisions I’ve made while studying at UEA. Working within the Legal Services Team has given me the opportunity to develop my communication skills and confidence, interact with real clients and get a sense of what tasks solicitors are expected to fulfil. The admin team has been so supportive, always encouraging me to take on challenges that will expand my legal skills.”

OrjonaStudent volunteer

“My experience in the employment team has allowed me to build a clear picture of what area of law I would like to specialise in. I have learned how to work in a team, take concise notes during solicitor-client meetings, and fill out a range of legal documentation. My time at NCLS has prepared me for the next stage in life, it has taught me so many transferable skills that I have been able to talk about in applications, interviews and assessment centres. The biggest thing I can take from NCLS is a sense of pride and accomplishment by helping people who are in real need of legal advice.”

LorenzoFormer student volunteer

“Volunteering at Norfolk Community Law Service during my time at university is one of the best decisions I have ever made. One of the first opportunities I was offered was to shadow an Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor at Norwich Crown Court. Not only did this allow me to obtain insight into a court setting, but it made me sensitive to the highly emotive nature of this area of law, which in turn, in my opinion, allows you to form a close rapport with clients while supporting them. You truly are given very high levels of responsibility at the service. You really do get the chance to make a difference to the lives of the clients at NCLS and I would strongly encourage anyone considering applying to do so.”

MollieStudent volunteer