Funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust has allowed us to establish advice clinics to provide advice on non-legal aid immigration and employment matters.
The clinics are run by lawyers from the Coventry office who are experts in immigration and employment law and they are assisted by law students from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University. This allows us to maximise the number of people we can see at the clinics where we give initial advice to clients on whether they have a case and the likely outcome of the case. All clients are provided with an information pack that will assist them in taking their case forward and they will all be advised on how to use the materials in the pack to progress their case if it is appropriate and if they wish to do so.
Some clients will have their cases taken on by a legal adviser and our aim is to secure a network of pro bono legal advisers who will be available to do this. Some clients will also be given a level of on going support by the students. This makes the experience more worthwhile for the students and obviously also assists the client.
We are building a network of pro bono solicitors to whom we can refer cases and we have had initial discussions with some local firms. BCLC is an active member of the Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Committee which is the forum through which we will build this network with colleagues from the commercial legal sector as we look to see how we can increase advice capacity in Birmingham.