A LAW clinic offering free legal advice and assistance to members of the public and small businesses has been launched at York St John University.

Based in the university’s Business School, York St John Law Clinic will provide free legal help and advice which people may not be able to access elsewhere.

Working alongside their lecturers, final year law students will advise on a range of legal matters including civil disputes, landlord and tenant matters and family proceedings.

Students will also be able to help EU nationals make their applications for ‘settled status’ and offer support to the victims of hate crime, working in partnership with City of York Council. There is also support for entrepreneurs and those looking to start up their own businesses and create jobs. Students will also offer confidential advice to prisoners and help those who feel they are victims of a miscarriage of justice.

Chris Smith, senior lecturer in Law at York St John University, said: “York St John Law Clinic aims to complement, rather than compete with, services offered by the Citizens Advice Bureau and commercial firms.

"We intend to build on our partnership with City of York Council supporting victims of hate crime and EU nationals applying for settled status. We are also keen to develop our relationship with Changing Lives, supporting women going through family proceedings alone and who may be survivors of domestic abuse.”

He added: “We want our students to develop as emotionally intelligent and socially-aware professionals who are able to ‘hit the ground running’ in their careers and who will retain a strong commitment to social justice and serving their community throughout their working lives.”

York St John Law Clinic will be based at York Business School on York St John University’s city-centre campus. All advice will be strictly confidential and is overseen by experienced staff employed by the university.

For more information and to access the service please visit www.yorksj.ac.uk/working-with-the-community/law-clinic, call 01904 876976 or email lawclinic@yorksj.ac.uk