We are pleased to announce that our project with the Manchester Law School has been nominated for Manchester’s Pro Bono/Community Initiative Award. As part of our Legal Advocacy Support Project (LASP), students from Manchester Metropolitan University’s Law School receive GMLC’s professional training and supervision, meet disabled and unwell people who have been refused benefits, prepare their cases and represent them in tribunals with overwhelming success.
One person who was helped by the scheme said: “the support and assistance that I received from [LASP volunteer] Sam Maher and the team gave me reassurance and made me feel like a real person. When I contacted the Law Centre I was at the lowest I had ever been due to my health deteriorating and financial stress. I was shown compassion and Sam completed all the relevant paperwork and put my case together, taking more strain off my shoulders.
“Without them I would not have known where to turn or how to move forward with my tribunal. It is an absolutely amazing service”
As well as providing life-changing legal advice and representation, GMLC support the next generation of social welfare lawyers. Many law students don’t have the opportunity to study social welfare law because it isn’t offered by their university. This lack of education combined with lower pay and fewer opportunities than the more lucrative areas of law means that the future of the sector needs fighting for now more than ever.
Former LASP student Edmund Potts said: “Volunteering with GMLC meant that I was able to put my legal training to great use at an early stage, helping some of the most vulnerable people in society get what they’re entitled to. Law students everywhere should be encouraged to support their local law centre and LASP is a great example of this”.