Since 2013, Middlesex University has supported the Wood Green Legal Advice and Mediation Centre, located in the Salvation Army's Christian Centre in Wood Green. This is a free 'drop-in' clinic held on Wednesday afternoons. The clinic offers advice on a range of welfare, housing and other legal issues, meeting the needs of an area of London where ordinary people often struggle to find access to affordable legal advice.
A team of law students operate a ‘triage’ system under the supervision of lawyers (including a retired QC).
Haben is gaining pro bono experience at Wood Green and explains why she decided to volunteer her time, how it complements her degree and what is adding to her CV for the future.
"My two main motivations for taking part in the clinic were to firstly, further enhance my knowledge of the law and to also gain an insight on how I can help those most vulnerable and seeking help in my local community of Haringey. To be able to help the community I’ve grown up in is immensely rewarding and further stimulates my ambition to become a solicitor.
"I am one of the student team leaders at the clinic, but my main role is to assist the legal advisors alongside my fellow student volunteers. I normally begin with welcoming new clients by finding out who they are and what their legal problem is. After this, I’ll usually sit in during the client’s meeting with one of the legal advisors, making notes on the matters discussed, the advice given and any action required. This greatly complements the law material I’m currently learning and is a magnificent insight into what my potential future career as a solicitor may entail.
"This invaluable experience is a fantastic way to gain a unique insight into the day-to-day work of legal professionals and it has taught me a number of skills including problem solving, teamwork, communication and the ability to work under pressure. I would definitely recommend any students interested in law to volunteer! "