Brighton Legal Clinic
Launched in 2019 our Brighton Legal Clinic sees students giving free advice to clients under the supervision of our Legal Clinical Director, other academics and local lawyers.
The clinic supports clients with legal issues such as: social welfare law, employment litigation, climate justice work (including pollution, planning and energy law), unlawful arrests at climate protests and gender discrimination cases.
Undergraduate students on the third-year ‘Justice and Practice’ module will work in the clinic and be allocated clients, who they will then interview – under supervision – and provide advice to. Postgraduate students are also able to work within the clinic.
For students who want to become solicitors, working in the Brighton Legal Clinic contributes to the required qualifying work experience needed to become a qualified solicitor through the new SQE route.
Students are also involved in every aspect of running Brighton Legal Clinic, participating in management discussions and the marketing of the clinic.
Citizens Advice Project
The Citizens Advice Project, in collaboration with Citizens Advice in West Sussex sees University of Brighton law students undergoing intensive training with the charity, and then advising their clients (under the guidance of tutors and lawyers) on a range of legal issues, such as housing, welfare and family law litigants in person, employment law, and criminal justice law.
Brighton Law School students attend a two-week training course, instead of the usual three‑to‑four‑month training period, before helping clients at Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East).
CLOCK Legal Companion Scheme
CLOCK - Time for Justice is a unique initiative established in 2016 as joint collaboration between the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton.
The CLOCK project allows students to become legal companions and assist litigants in person (who do not have access to legal aid). Students volunteer in the Brighton Family and County courts and assist litigants in person by accompanying them into hearings; helping them to fill in court forms and signposting to our legal and charitable partners.
Before assisting litigants, CLOCK legal companions will attend a five-day training programme which covers five areas:
- Academic training
- Legal training
- Third sector training
- Court training guidance and forms
- Legal training in court
Students will be required to be in court for at least two hours a week during term time.
Client Interviewing Skills Programme
Client interviewing is taught within all our courses and allows students to develop the skills needed when conducting a legal interview, such as how to establish a relationship with the client, how to identify the nature of the legal problem and then how to obtain the relevant information from the client in order to reach a potential solution.
Our client interviewing skills programme is an extra-curricular activity and enables students to further develop the essential skill of interviewing and advising clients. Sponsored by a local law firm, the programme culminates in an internal competition, and the winning students proceed to represent the university in the national Law Society competition.
This programme develops students' client interviewing skills, as well as putting them in front of legal firms from across the region.
In 2016, two of our Law with Business students, Fionnuala Richardson and Chloe Chatton, won the national competition and went on to represent England and Wales in the international competition in Canada, finishing third in the world.
Negotiation is a key lawyer skill – many legal disputes do not end up in the courts, but instead are resolved by some form of negotiated agreement. Our negotiation programme is an opportunity for students to prepare for a negotiation, and to apply and practise their negotiation skills.
In the form of a competition, the programme sponsored by solicitors’ firms who judge the final competition and the top teams go on to represent the University of Brighton at the national negotiation competition sponsored by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.
This programme develops students' negotiation skills to improve confidence and employability, as well as giving them access to an extended legal network.
A vital part of studying to become a barrister - and desirable even for those looking to law firms - mooting is a mock trial where two sides argue a point of law in front of an acting judge, who will decide which side wins based on the presentations made.
Whilst mooting is taught in each of our courses, taking part in extra-curricular mooting competitions is essential for developing legal skills of analysis and interpretation, as well as personal skills of argument and public speaking.