About the Law Clinic
The University of Bristol Law Clinic provides free legal advice to members of the public who cannot afford a solicitor.
Once you make an enquiry, we will review your information and let you know whether we can help. This decision is made by the supervising solicitors. There is no right of appeal against a decision that the Law Clinic cannot help.
If we are able to help, student advisors will then arrange a meeting with you to discuss your issue in more detail. Following the meeting, they will research and write a letter of advice. This letter will explain what work the Law Clinic can do for you. This could include letter-writing, helping you to file a court claim, starting mediation, or assisting with filling in tricky legal forms.
Do you charge for the service?
No, the advice given by the Law Clinic is completely free. If you go to court, you may have to pay court fees and if you lose you may have to pay the other side’s costs. However, if you are on a low income or receive certain benefits you may be exempt from paying court fees.
We also recommend that you check whether you have legal expenses insurance.
If we believe you might qualify for legal aid, we will suggest you contact a solicitor before proceeding with the Law Clinic.
What areas of law does the Law Clinic cover?
Please note that just because your case falls within one of these areas, it does not automatically mean your case will be taken on.
- Civil litigation
- Community care
- Family (including Child Arrangements Orders)
- Welfare benefits
- Windrush claims
We cannot help with:
- Debt advice
- Cases involving allegations of discrimination
- Cases outside the scope of the supervisors’ experience or too complex for the students
Please note that when we are exceptionally busy, we may not take on cases from outside the BS postcode area.
How do you decide whether to take on my case?
This depends on several factors:
- the area of law
- the complexity and value of the case
- the urgency of the case
- the availability of both supervisors and students
If we cannot take on your case, we will try to refer you to an alternative service. There is no right of appeal against a decision that the Law Clinic cannot help.
Can you represent me in a court or tribunal?
This depends on the type of hearing. In court it is usually up to the Judge to decide whether the students can speak on your behalf. The rules relating to student representation in tribunals are less strict. If you represent yourself, we can help you prepare for a hearing, so you know what to expect from the court process. Student advisers may also be able to attend court with you as a McKenzie Friend.
Who will be working on my case?
Our student advisors are current Law students who work under the supervision of qualified solicitors. All advice given by the students is checked and approved by their supervisor. The work is carried out by the students.
What is your confidentiality policy?
Your personal information and the details of your case are kept confidential. The only people who can see this information are the student advisors working on your case, the supervisors, and the Law Clinic admin team.
Voicemail: 0117 394 0082