by Rosie Narayan, Warwick LinC Coordinator
What is LinC?
Warwick Law in the Community (LinC) works with various organisations across the West Midlands region (and beyond) to provide interesting opportunities for our students to gain meaningful and practical experience in law. Our aim is to ensure that students are able to actively contribute to advancing social justice and to expand their breadth of understanding of the law in practice, whilst also expanding and refining important skills which will help them in their future careers.
We are currently recruiting for our 2022 /3 term one and term two projects. We are keen to receive applications from both undergraduate and postgraduate Law School students.
Strategic Social Justice Clinic and Immigration and Asylum Clinic
LinC works very closely with the Central England Law Centre to provide two main LinC clinics each year. These are our Immigration and Asylum Clinic and our Strategic Social Justice Clinic. Both clinics offer quite different opportunities for students to get involved. Our Strategic Social Justice Clinic allows our students to work in depth on a project which aims to use public law strategically to address a specific systemic disadvantage. Projects last year included ‘The Local Housing Allowance and its Impact on Homeless Families’ and ‘Rights in Peril: Reinstating Rights to Social Care Post Covid-19.’ This year the SSJC will work on a new project which will look in depth at supporting care leavers to access their rights. You can learn more about our Strategic Social Justice Clinic and previous year’s projects here.
Our Immigration and Asylum Clinic offers students the opportunity to get a better understanding of legal aid, drafting, and researching relevant legal provisions. Students are able to gain experience of client-facing work by taking instructions from individuals needing immigration advice. Interviewing and drafting skills are certainly well utilised and practised! Student volunteers find real value and personal development in seeing through the process of communicating with clients, to crafting the information provided into a strong argument to help clients obtain legal aid through Exceptional Case Funding applications. This year, there will also be an opportunity for some students to work with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), taking enquiries in relation to citizenship and leave to remain applications for children. We are delighted that we have expanded the size of the Immigration and Asylum Clinic this year and are therefore able to offer a greater number of students the opportunity to volunteer and gain valuable experience. Learn more about our Immigration and Asylum Clinic here.
For more on this year’s opportunities and how to apply, see here.
PLE and other LinC Projects
Law School students also have the opportunity to work on other projects with LinC such as last year’s ‘School Exclusions Film Project’ with Warwickshire County Council. Students have created an information film to provide school pupils and their families with support whilst going through the process of a school exclusion. In addition to our Strategic Social Justice Clinic and our Immigration and Asylum Clinic, undergraduate students can get involved with LinC by taking the Public Legal Education module (LA390). Students have worked on some great projects in recent years, including working with charity Grapevine to create an animated film for young people with learning disabilities about financial independence. Students also worked with Coventry Independent Advice Service to create a video to explain Council Tax for Coventry residents. You can read about some of the projects students have worked on here.
As well as voluntary opportunities, LinC is able to offer a number of paid summer internship opportunities to students who are current or past volunteers with Warwick LinC (Strategic social Justice Clinic, Immigration and Asylum Clinic, any other LinC projects). Undergraduate students who have completed the Public Legal Education Module are also eligible to apply. In summer 2022 we were able to offer five internships. Three of these were with the Central England Law Centre: Strategic Public Law Internship, Public Law Team Internship and Immigration and Asylum Internship. We also offered an internship with the Coventry Independent Advice Service and a Legal Information, Research and Evaluation Internship with Law for Life: The Foundation for Public Legal Education. Internship opportunities are usually advertised to Law School students in March, so make sure you look out for information about next summer’s recruitment if you are interested in applying. Learn more about the internships we offered during Summer 2022 here.
Law in the Community: Get Involved! There are lots of ways to get involved in helping our local community through LinC. Please consider applying for one of the many opportunities we offer. Over the coming months, we will be updating our LinC blog with the first-hand experiences of our past volunteers and interns so that you can get an idea of the kinds of work, development opportunities and skills students gain from participation with LinC projects. Feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and to find out more about LinC.