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On Wednesday, BDP’s CEO Maggie Telfer was invited to attend Standing up for Justice, a celebration of 21 years of the University of Bristol Law Clinic at their new office in Berkeley Square.
Held as part of National ProBono Week, the event saw the launch of their new Annual Review which featured their partnership with BDP as an example of how the Law Clinic is supporting those that would not otherwise have access to legal advice.
In an age of austerity, reductions in Legal Aid means that it is often those who are most in need who now have least access to expert legal advice through other avenues. Maggie met staff and students including one who will soon be delivering our Law Clinic at BDP: “Her enthusiasm to learn about the barriers people with drug and alcohol problems face and to bring her knowledge and expertise to support their access to justice was inspiring.”
We are dedicated to providing pro-bono legal advice for those that most need it. Working with partners like Bristol Drugs Project also provides students with a deep appreciation of the issues facing our community’s most vulnerable people.
– John Peake, Law Clinic Director
Launched in the summer of 2016, their fortnightly Law Clinic drop-in at BDP has provided free legal advice to our service users who are struggling to gain access to the formal legal support they need to start taking back control of their lives.
I went to Citizens Advice for a personal matter and was signposted to the Law Clinic. Within two appointments, something I’d been getting nowhere with was resolved. In the first appointment, I started to see how the skills and professionalism I was benefitting from would be of huge benefit to our own clients
– Ed Holder, Support Worker at BDP
Over the past year, the Law Clinic has supported people whose problematic drug and alcohol use has meant they have faced restricted access to housing, public services and education, and also provided support around problems with benefits, debt, domestic violence, fragile family networks and criminal activity.
It provided a really amazing legal exchange about how the law could help get them on their feet. I now understand more deeply about ‘labels’ and that actually their problems are the same as many of our other clients – with the drugs just an added complication.
– Sanya Rajpal, Law Student
Read their new Annual Review to find out more about the Law Clinic at BDP.
Download Law Clinic Review
The Law Clinic at BDP is currently welcoming and training their new student volunteers.
Stay tuned to find out when the fortnightly drop-in re-opens at our Central Bristol Walk-In.
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