Student lawyers offer free advice to start-ups and small businesses
The idea was developed by David Collins, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director Graduate Entry LLB, and City alumnus and recently-qualified solicitor Eric Klotz, who recognised the need for more law graduates with real commercial awareness.
Collins explains: "London has several free legal advice clinics that give students the opportunity to practice, but these are focussed on personal issues such as housing or benefits rather than those faced by businesses.
"At the same time, supporting entrepreneurship is widely regarded as key to economic recovery, so it makes sense to pair up our students with local enterprises, which often need legal advice to expand but have limited funds to pay for it."
Following a grant of £1,600 from the Higher Education Academy, student volunteers have been successfully recruited to the scheme and four clinics have already been run. As well as gaining hands-on experience, the students have benefitted from lectures in small business planning and funding, while nearly 30 enterprises have received advice so far.
The sessions take place every Tuesday from 18:00 to 20:00 in the Law Student Common Room in City University London's College Building on St John Street, Islington. Start-ups and small businesses are invited to drop in to speak to a student advisor.