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Pro bono opportunities at the University of Wolverhampton

Legal Practice Course (“LPC”) students at the University of Wolverhampton have a unique opportunity to get involved in an exciting pro bono opportunity. Students are encouraged to volunteer to assist with the Small Business Law Clinic (the “Clinic”)

The Clinic was as an innovative new project for the academic year 2006/7 and has since gone from strength to strength. Whilst many universities run clinic schemes, most are in the field of social welfare, so the Clinic truly does offer something different for our students.

The Clinic provides business law and commercial law advice to small to medium sized enterprises in the Black Country. Typically the students assist with a range of business law and commercial law queries ranging from incorporation of a private limited company, drafting suitable terms and conditions of business, protection of intellectual property and the recovery of commercial debts. Businesses are also encouraged to take the opportunity to have a legal health check to ensure they are not storing up problems for the future

The clinic currently operates approximately once a month for around two hours after the end of the LPC day. The students’ work in clinic sessions is supervised by solicitors from local firms, including partners and associates from Manby Steward Bowdler in Wolverhampton, Higgs and Sons and Waldrons Solicitors in Dudley and Talbots Solicitors in Stourbridge.

The clinic provides valuable advice at a formative period in the life of a small business. Without the services of the clinic, many of the businesses who have benefited from the assistance of the student volunteers would not have been able to afford quality legal advice, with the result that they could have made a costly mistake or even jeopardised the future of the business.

Participation in the activities of the Clinic provides LPC students with invaluable work experience and gives them the opportunity to try out their interviewing and advisory skills. It offers a means for students to demonstrate a genuine commercial awareness and interest to potential employers. A former LPC student, Charmaine Thompson Jones, 2006/7, says of her involvement in the Clinic:

“It certainly put the learning we had been doing into action. It also helped to confirm the decision I have made to seek work in Commercial/Corporate law is the right area of work for me.

The Clinic is extra-curricular activity arranged by an enthusiastic lecturer and all in all a very positive experience and a bonus whilst studying on the LPC at Wolverhampton University.”

The opportunity to volunteer with the Clinic is just one of the employability enhancing opportunities offered to LPC students at the University of Wolverhampton. In addition, students are offered the chance to observe client interviews taking place between Irwin Mitchell solicitors and their clinical negligence clients. These interviews take place in one of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies’ dedicated interviewing suites. Students are also encouraged to attend the LPC Plus Programme, which is a series of talks and workshops, delivered by lawyers and practice managers, aimed to ensure that students hit the ground running on the first day of their training contract.

For further information on the work of the Clinic please contact Senior Lecturer, Louise Costello at

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