In November 2014, the School of Law opened its own Legal Advice Centre (LAC) at the London campus offering pro bono assistance to the people of Barnet and members of the University every Wednesday afternoon during term time between 2pm and 4pm in College House.
The LAC is led by Husniye Sera Ustek-Bazen, who is a graduate of the School of Law and Principal of STS Solicitors in Hendon. She supervises a team of senior students from Middlesex in running the centre. With her substantial experience of pro bono legal work, as well as of managing a growing local practice and her Middlesex connection, Husniye is the ideal person to take this initiative forward.
"It's important that students know what's expected of them in their future careers and have had dealings with real-life clients and issues" - Husniye Sera Ustek-Bazen, Principal, STS Solicitors and Legal Advice Centre leader
The LAC offers one-to-one confidential advice on a number of legal areas, including housing, welfare and benefits, family, children, domestic violence, wills and probate, debt and bankruptcy, and employment.
A team of Middlesex Law students, who have received training to work in the LAC, staff and operate a system for making appointments and conduct initial interviews with clients before they meet with Husniye.
"It's important that students know what's expected of them in their future careers and have had dealings with real-life clients and issues," says Husniye.
"If students are serious about going into law then working at pro bono advice clinics is crucial because it gives you confidence. Not to mention that when you go into interviews after you graduate you'll stand a better chance than the next person who hasn't got that experience."
To book an appointment at the LAC contact MDXLac@mdx.ac.uk or phone 0208 411 3416.
Legal Advice Centre
London NW4 4BT
Middlesex graduate Joseph, who is currently studying for a master's in medical law and wants to be a solicitor, spells out the benefits of working at the LAC and other pro bono clinics.
"Employers are becoming increasingly concerned with work experience and Middlesex is perfect for that because, if you're willing to do well, they will help you as much as they can to get the relevant experience," he explains.
"If you show that you're keen, opportunities will start coming to you."
During his time at Middlesex, Joseph was also a Student Learning Advisor, acted as a Legal Research Assistant for Senior Lecturer Elliot Schatzberger, and completed a mini-pupillage at 36 Bedford Row.