Volunteers past and present

Find out more about Law for Life's volunteers.

Clinical law students
  • I volunteered at Law for Life as part of my Public Legal Education module at Warwick University. I attended webinars, researched access to housing duty solicitors during the pandemic, and created an information resource based on this research. I found the placement incredibly interesting - allowing me to experience the process of providing public legal education. The research also allowed me to learn about a new area of law, which is not usually covered at undergraduate level. I hope that the research I assisted with has helped to highlight particular issues of access to justice during the pandemic and into the future as the court process continues to digitise. Charlotte Green, undergraduate law student, Warwick University
  • I volunteered with Law for Life as a student at Warwick University through the Public Legal Education module. I did a range of work; attending webinars, transcription, research on housing law, as well as designing an education resource. It has been a highly beneficial experience as it has provided me with insight far beyond the confines of my degree. It has allowed me to understand a new area of law, how it works in practice and its effect on those who encounter it. I have also gained transferrable skills that will be useful in my studies and beyond. I hope my work will be useful to Law for Life, and that the resource I produced on s.21 evictions may be used as part of their housing courses, to help people grappling with the complex procedure. Kate Williams, undergraduate law student, Warwick University

  • I volunteered at Law for Life during the student placement portion of the Public Legal Education module. We were given the task of researching the disproportionate impact of the housing crisis on BAME communities in London. Doing this research was a great opportunity to learn more about an area of law and policy which has not been covered in our studies. As this research was used to update and adapt an upcoming housing course, we were able to contribute to Law for Life's vital work in helping people understand and confront the complex and important housing issues they face. Amber Shah, undergraduate law student, University of Warwick

  •  Volunteering with Law for Life was a great experience. The placement allowed me to see how the law is embedded in peoples lives and, after studying PLE in theory, provided a real insight into PLE in practice. It helped me understand how those who are already going through hardship can be further disadvantaged when they lack the legal knowledge and legal capability to secure the few rights they do have. It was encouraging to be able to contribute, even a little, to the work being done by Law for Life through our research for the housing course, which is targeted towards specific issues experienced by different groups in the BAME community. This experience has boosted my confidence, as throughout the placement we were embraced as part of the team and our opinions and views were validated and held of equal value. Going forward I feel empowered and encouraged to really think about how I can contribute to PLE in the future. Esther Alogba, undergraduate law student, University of Warwick

     

'In-house' volunteers
  • I am currently volunteering with Law for Life to support staff carrying out research and evaluation programmes. I recently finished quantifying data following the delivery of two Housing Rights courses. Going forward, I will be providing feedback on how to better structure the LfL website to make it more accessible and easier to navigate. I will summarise several reports to be posted on the new website, observe future training courses and take part in interviewing participants. This opportunity gives me an insight into the process behind the facts and it helps me better understand the legal needs of marginalised people and how to tackle them. It provides me with a chance to work with both quantitative and qualitative data.  It helps me gain exposure to how the law affects people, what the law currently is, and how it might be changed. This role has helped me learn so much already. By helping Wendy undertake research and deliver reports to stakeholders, I have the chance to contribute to LfL’s aim of combatting legal illiteracy and increasing skills and confidence. In helping LFL fulfil its research and evaluation responsibilities, I am also increasing the quantity and quality of the information delivered to the public, including how it is presented and accessed. Tala Ammoun, in-house volunteer

Legal experts and other professionals

In this section you can read about how a range of different legal experts and other professionals work with us to improve our services. 

  • I look after the South region of Support Through Court offices and I, together with input from the team, regularly provide feedback and suggestions when the Advicenow team require an external view on a new guide or an existing one that is being updated. It’s a great way for us to share our knowledge and experience of helping Litigants in Person to produce guides that are incredibly useful for both our clients and our volunteers. Paul Bryson, Regional Service Manager, Support Through Court  
  • I am a solicitor, specialising in family law, and I often assist the Advicenow team by reviewing their resources for people facing a range of family law problems. I enjoy this work immensely.  It is usually very difficult for me to find the time to volunteer my services at the CAB or legal clinics and helping out Advicenow by proofreading or reviewing these important resources allows me to get involved in legal pro bono work.  I am able to use my skills and knowledge to help the Advicenow team which is great. I assume they appreciate my input because they keep asking me chip in!  Melanie Bataillard-Samuel, family law solicitor at Expatriate Law

  • I have been providing pro bono legal support to Law for Life on its housing rights for refugees webinar programme. I worked with Law for Life’s team to prepare resources to support refugees in navigating the private rented sector in the UK and assisted in creating a survey to understand how discrimination in privately rented housing affects refugees and migrants. Law for Life’s approach to legal education is compassionate and informed by people’s lived experience, and it is incredibly rewarding to be helping them make a tangible impact on people’s lives – particularly those who face such significant challenges in rebuilding their lives in the UK. Frances, solicitor at a City law firm

Volunteer reviewers
  • I volunteered with Law for Life during 2020 whilst working as a property law paralegal and preparing for the Bar Vocational Course. I worked with the legal information team to create content for Advicenow users on issues around Brexit.  I researched the law and issues UK and EU nationals were facing, and then drafted legal information written in a practical and user friendly way. I found this experience helpful in learning more about what people need to gain from legal information to inform themselves and protect their rights and how to produce content about the law that is genuinely useful rather than confusing or alienating. Giovanni Parcou, ACILEx, Plot Conveyancer