Community Law Clinic

A project by: Emily Stokes

Please help us make a difference to those who struggle to access legal advice in the South West

There are a large number of vulnerable people in our region who struggle to access legal advice. Early legal advice is vital to the management of legal disputes and may prevent the escalation of the dispute and the costs of resolution. Many attempt to navigate the legal system on their own, which can be stressful, time-consuming and costly.

The Community Law Clinic is designed to assist those who are not entitled to legal aid but cannot otherwise afford the cost of private legal representation and advice. The Clinic cannot represent a client but provides the vital early legal advice in matters within its expertise.

The service is student-led, which provides our law students with invaluable practical experience of client handling, research and advice skills. This is an excellent foundation to go onto legal practice or other professional careers.

The Community Law Clinic was established in 2017 and sees hundreds of clients every year.

The South West - An 'advice desert'

The South West is an area that is afflicted with advice deserts in a variety of key areas of local need. The nature of the South West is that it is, geographically, a large rural area and accordingly the help to resolve legal problems is limited. There are additional barriers such as use of technology and availability of public transport in these areas.

It can be difficult for individuals to access even basic information about their rights in relation to their jobs, homes and benefits. The consequences can be significant for individuals without support or the right information. Many of those in need of advice and support are getting no, little or incorrect information.

Why we need your help

We are so grateful to our existing strong base of volunteer legal practitioners in the local area who assist us with the delivery of our service. Those who volunteer with us are keen to give back to the local community and we have a passionate internal team of supervisors and a dedicated coordinator.

As a result of the pandemic, we have adapted our services to operate a hybrid clinic, where we offer remote and/or in person appointments. We are keen to reach as many people who may need our help as possible.

We are unfortunately unable to meet the needs of everyone who approaches our service, and we are looking for increased funding streams to both consolidate and expand our services to the local community.

Please help the Community Law Clinic expand our services today to reach many more people that need our help.

the impact of your donation

We know the impact that this work has already had on the students taking part and the individuals and families who have benefited from access to the clinic. Your donation will enable us to continue our invaluable work and build on this in the years to come.

What students say about the programme

''Thank you for the opportunity to work on this case, at first it was daunting but it was so insightful and interesting and has been enjoyable to have some real law to get stuck in to and to have your support and guidance to make it valuable.”

What people we support say

“I would like to say the work I just received is outstanding, amazingly complete and will help us a lot for our project, so thank you so much for your help.”

“Thank you both so much for your knowledge and time you spend on me … but what have you given me leaves me with a warm feel that The Law ,The Courts and Judges look at the fairness and justice … Receiving your letter today .....felt me with a worth and respect .”

Help us succeed!

Please donate if you can. Every £1, £5, £10 can really make a difference to this project. And please share this page with your friends and family. The more we can spread the word, the more able we are to help people who are at the point of becoming homeless or about to lose their job.

Find us here


TWITTER @ExeterLawClinic

Thank you!