We develop engaging pro bono programmes that give you firsthand access to complex criminal appeal cases involving serious offences. You get to make a direct contribution to our client casework, undertaking valuable legal research and pursuing new lines of enquiry, working under expert supervision from experienced criminal law solicitors in order to identify and prepare fresh grounds of appeal.
Our clients get the benefit of some of the brightest minds and emerging legal talent working on their case.
You will have access to our comprehensive online lecture series so that you understand some of the key legal concepts before undertaking specific tasks to move the client’s case forward as part of a small group.
What’s more, all of our work is completed digitally, which means that you can participate from almost anywhere in the world.
A joint enterprise murder case with an alternative count argument post R v Jogee (2016)
A complex multi-handed drugs conspiracy
A murder case involving fresh cell site evidence
Our pro bono programmes last for six weeks and at the end we invite participants to apply to join our permanent casework team and gain further pro bono experience working across our extensive and ever-changing portfolio of cases.
We charge a nominal fee of £60 per person for access to our online lecture series. This is how we fund the development of our work and as a Community Interest Company any profits are automatically reinvested for the benefit of our students and clients.
No, the clinic has extensive experience of running programmes online using the latest digital tools. You can participate from anywhere in the world.
All of the clinic’s clients have been convicted of serious criminal offences such as murder, or the supply or importation of drugs. The majority of our work consists of supporting active applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
That depends on your exact circumstances. There is a total of four hours ‘teaching’ or contact time per week (or per fortnight if you are on the part time programme) and these will eternally be scheduled during the day and you will need to attend, potentially remotely via Zoom. You are then free to undertake your actual working hours around your other commitments. Students will need to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to client work.
No, you can start whenever and ‘bank’ your experience. We provide comprehensive learning materials so even if you have not yet studied criminal law, you will be able to access the knowledge you need to start the programme.
On completion of the programme we will discuss future opportunities, both inside and outside the clinic, with individual students.
We have students starting throughout the year. When you sign up you can state a preference. We will contact you with a suggested start date and you will be allocated to a team of students who you will work alongside.
Yes. All students will be expected to maintain a case file which will be assessed by their supervising solicitor at the end of the programme. There will also be a short exam style assessment, containing multiple choice questions, similar to the way the SQE1 exam operates. Topics will range from issues arising from the client’s case to substantive law and criminal procedure.
Casework varies depending on the needs of the client, so you could be drafting correspondence with the client to request additional papers or information, be assessing the merits of the clients case, researching and instructing an expert, or setting out basic grounds of appeal. There is no exhaustive list…we encourage all students to take initiative and ensure that their client’s needs are met.
Yes, absolutely. However, although the experience will still help you to gain further placements or a training contract, it will not count towards the training contract requirement. This is where the SQE and LPC routes differ.
Yes. The programme will still provide you with useful knowledge and experience that could support future pupillage applications or inform a decision to change direction to the solicitor route.
Freedom Law Clinic is a Community Interest Company registered (10227294) in England. That means that any profit we make goes straight back in to providing more legal education and assistance to clients in line with our mission statement.
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