What Our Students Do

Norfolk Community Law Service

Around 50 students per year volunteer with NCLS across a range of advice services including welfare benefits; debt; domestic abuse; family law; employment and discrimination; and immigration; as well as the legal support service which triages the other services. Students are key members of each service, working directly with members of the public and local solicitors.

“I volunteered to be a digital advisor for Citizens Advice so that I could connect with the people in my local community. So far, the role has not disappointed! I have been able to engage with the citizens of Norfolk, and the challenges they face, via email and webchat. This has enabled me to support many individuals in finding a way forward. Not only has the role been incredibly rewarding, but it has also helped strengthen my communication, teamwork and research skills. Moreover, the role has given me an insight into the way in which key areas of law work in practice. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity while studying at UEA.”

HannahFormer CAB volunteer

Image of student volunteers

Street Law

Street Law is a community outreach programme that sees our students developing their knowledge and experience by delivering a wide range of awareness-raising sessions on legal issues in local schools and community groups, and at university open days and ‘Law taster' events' on campus. Street Law offers students the chance to develop their legal learning and their team-working and communication skills by introducing legal issues to a wider audience. The audience can experience the law for themselves via a range of fun-filled activities including mock trials, quizzes and game shows.It is run in conjunction with UEA’s outreach team.

Equal Lives

Equal Lives is a disability rights charity that believes in the social model of disability. Students volunteer across a range of services including money management, advocacy on behalf disabled clients, NHS complaints, deprivation of liberty safeguarding (legal protection for adults deprived of their liberty), welfare benefits advice, and a range of other advice and representation. Equal Lives took on its first batch of student volunteers in 2021 and was delighted with the number and quality of applications.

Citizens Advice Digital Hub

Many people will know about Citizens Advice. They offer advice and information to help people with problems with debt, money, benefits, housing, employment issues, immigration, health, family, education and consumer issues. They offer free legal information and advice throughout the UK – including at UEA Law Clinic. Staffed by students, the hub answers questions from members of the public seeking legal information and guidance through the Citizens Advice website, by email, and telephone. Students also have the option to give in-person advice once trained.

Justice Project

The Justice Project is run by Maureen Bacon KC, a former Crown Court judge, in association with Inside Justice, a charity that investigates potential miscarriages of justice. This project gives students the opportunity to investigate real life cases where long-term prisoners maintaining their innocence of serious crimes of which they have been convicted. Through re-examining evidence and trying to find new lines of enquiry, you could be working on some of the Justice Project’s serious criminal cases, potentially changing the course of someone’s life.

Shelter

Shelter is a well-known housing and homelessness charity working with vulnerable people facing housing insecurity. Students train as housing advisers.

Norfolk Community Foundation

This is a charity that provides advice and funds to community organisations and small charities that seek to provide a better way of life in Norfolk. As and when required, we will offer students discrete, short-term projects writing advice guides and toolkits on areas requested by the Foundation.

Street Law

Street Law is a community outreach programme that sees our students developing their knowledge and experience by delivering a wide range of awareness-raising sessions on legal issues in local schools and community groups, and at university open days and ‘Law taster' events' on campus. Street Law offers students the chance to develop their legal learning and their team-working and communication skills by introducing legal issues to a wider audience. The audience can experience the law for themselves via a range of fun-filled activities including mock trials, quizzes and game shows. It is run in conjunction with UEA’s outreach team.

The Business Law Clinic

A joint enterprise between UEA Law Clinic and Norwich Business School, we are midway through establishing a project that should see students and staff giving advice to start-ups and small businesses as part of UEA’s civic university project and Small Business Charter. They will be supported by a regional law firm and a local organisation providing small business support and training across East Anglia. Students will have the opportunity to observe and help with advice and training.

"I often volunteer at the UEA Law Clinic working alongside solicitors in aiding clients with any legal issues regarding family matters. Working alongside solicitors has really boosted my confidence in dealing with clients. Given the sensitive nature of the cases I work on this has been crucial to the development of my client communication skills. As a student volunteer, my main role is to complete paperwork with the clients and support the solicitors in writing up attendance notes – this being a key skill to the everyday workings of a solicitor. After working at the UEA Law Clinic I know feel propelled and enthused to progress into a career in law given the insight this opportunity has provided me with."

LucyFormer NCLS Family team volunteer