Students to offer free family law and divorce advice at legal advice clinic

Free advice about family law and divorce issues will be available at a special clinic run by University of Wolverhampton students.

Law students will join forces with local firm Thornes Solicitors to run the Family Law Clinic on Wednesday, 19 July 2017.

The drop-in event from 11am-1pm will take place at the University’s Legal Advice Centre in the Mander Shopping Centre, Wolverhampton.

The aim of the event is to provide support to members of the public affected by the reduction in Legal Aid availability.

Legal Advice Centre Manager, Beverley Rizzotto, said: “The reduction in Legal Aid availability has left many of the most vulnerable members of society without anywhere or anyone to turn to for free and independent legal advice.

The University of Wolverhampton Law School has attempted to assist in filling this gap by providing students who, under the supervision of practising solicitors and academics, will interview clients, research legal issues, and provide general legal advice and information in areas such as employment law issues, consumer and contract matters, property and probate law.

“The Centre has however, always received a high number of enquirers requiring assistance in respect of their family law and divorce issues, an area of law which has also been affected by the legal aid cuts, limiting access to justice where the purse strings do not allow instruction of private representation.

“The Family Law Clinic on Wednesday, 19 July will enable students to get involved during the interviews, taking notes, and shadowing the legal advisor, providing them with invaluable work and practical experience in a legal setting.”

Members of the public can drop-in with their family law, child and divorce issues for free consultations with Ben Thorne, Associate Solicitor at the firm. Each consultation will last around 20 minutes, and there will be no pre-booked appointments as slots will be allocated on the day.

The Legal Advice Centre has been present in the Mander Centre in Wolverhampton since 2011, and between September 2016 and May 2017 assisted more than 70 people in providing generic legal advice in person and in writing, and signposting many more to other local services.

If successful, the Family Law Clinic will roll out from September to be a monthly or bi-monthly arrangement.

For further information, please contact the Legal Advice Centre Manager, Beverley Rizzotto on Beverley.rizzotto@wlv.ac.uk or 01902 321749.

Further information

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: Tuesday, 11 July 2017

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