Without access to justice, the most vulnerable in our society are denied benefits they need, housing rights, employment rights and more. In 2016, the Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) opened because dedicated members of our community came together as volunteers to say: something must be done.
Now we need your help to support the next generation of welfare lawyers
As part of our Pro Bono Legal Advocacy Support Project (LASP) students from the Manchester Metropolitan University's Law School represent people trying to get the sickness benefits they deserve. In order to do this, they need full training and supervision.
We aim to ultimately crowdfund £5,000 to match fund MMU’s contribution for our LASP project in order to continue to employ one person one day a week to run this programme from September 2018.
Please give generously NOW, so we can hit our first target of £2000 within 30 days.
And please share this appeal amongst your family, friends and colleagues and on social media (#freeaccesstojustice).
We need your donation urgently, so this project can continue.
Why LASP is essential
The LASP programme is a supported and intensive programme for 3 cohorts with 4 students over 30 weeks over one year.
These students represent people at appeal hearings who are due to have their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) stopped by the Department of Work and Pensions.
This is invaluable experience for aspiring social welfare lawyers as well as being a way to provide life-changing representation for vulnerable people.
The students are provided with high-quality supervision and training provided by GMLC. Under this supervision, they manage the client’s case and represent the client in tribunals. The students are taught the value of compassion and delivering a high standard of work.
“Legal aid for these types of cases has been withdrawn and so clients would normally have had to represent themselves, some may not be able to do this properly, and without the help of our students, it is likely many more would simply have to live with the wrong decision.” – Emma Goodwin, Pro Bono Director at Manchester Law School.
Who we are
Lord William Bach, Bach Commission on Access to Justice, GMLC patron:
GMLC provide free, professional, face-to-face legal advice and representation. We help people to fight for disability and sickness benefits they deserve, from when they need help filling in a form, to when they need someone to represent them in a tribunal.
We are almost entirely staffed by volunteers, and we have won back almost over £750,000.00 in benefits since we opened in August 2016, with no fee whatsoever. This money has helped to restore lives and strengthen the local economy.
More about GMLC, services & campaigns here: https://www.gmlaw.org.uk/
LASP so far
Last year, Manchester Law School reported on LASP’s 100% success rate.
“Getting to do all aspects of the case from meeting clients, to legal research to appearing at a tribunal means you get to know a case and the client. I was so nervous the day before the tribunal, I knew that either way the decision would have a massive impact on my client’s life and I wanted to be sure that I had done everything possible to ensure a good outcome for her. When we found out we had won the case, I almost burst into tears.” – Samantha Maher, former LASP student
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