Oxford law students have volunteered to provide legal aid for clients within the city.
The scheme, a joint venture between the law faculty of the University of Oxford and Turpin & Miller Solicitors, aims to provide assistance to vulnerable local clients. Students will deal with a range of issues, including immigration, asylum and citizenship, housing and homelessness, community care, family, employment, debt and welfare benefits.
It is the first time that the Oxford Law Faculty has been involved in such a project and sixteen students were chosen from fifty applicants for the scheme.
A spokesman from the Junior Lawyers’ Division said, “It is particularly commendable that the birth of this scheme originates with the students themselves, who not only recognised the opportunity to gain valuable relevant experience, but also the fundamental social responsibility of the legal profession.”
Those involved with the scheme also expressed enthusiasm at the opportunity to give something back to Oxford as a community.
Daniel Cashman, student Co-Chair of Oxford Legal Assistance said, “I want to be able to use the skills I am learning through my degree to offer practical help to those in need. The programme is pioneering and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
Jo Renshaw, Partner at Turpin & Miller Solicitors added, “It is a great opportunity to work with our local university to provide additional assistance to clients within Oxford. We see it as a ‘win-win’ situation, enabling students to gain hands-on experience of dealing with clients while at the same time ensuring that tight legal aid budgets can be used to fund the more complex areas of our cases.”