The next generation fighting for justice: this project needs your help

by Greater Manchester Law Centre

The next generation fighting for justice: this project needs your help

by Greater Manchester Law Centre
Greater Manchester Law Centre
Case owner
We provide free, face-to-face, professional legal advice and representation. We fight for funding for free access to justice and for changes in unjust welfare policy.
Funded
on 11th July 2018
£2,294
pledged by 65 people
Greater Manchester Law Centre
Case owner
We provide free, face-to-face, professional legal advice and representation. We fight for funding for free access to justice and for changes in unjust welfare policy.

Latest: July 25, 2018

You did it! We reached our initial target! But there is more to do!

Update on The next generation fighting for justice: this project needs your help

 

You are all wonderful! 

With your help we reached our initial target of £2000, which means we are sta...

Read more

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.

Read more about the scheme here: https://www.gmlaw.org.uk/students-lasp/ and this article.

“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/

Twitter: @gmlawcentre
fb: https://www.facebook.com/gmlawcentre/

LASP so far

Last year, Manchester Law School reported on LASP’s 100% success rate.
https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/story/5937/

“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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Update 1

Greater Manchester Law Centre

July 25, 2018

You did it! We reached our initial target! But there is more to do!

Update on The next generation fighting for justice: this project needs your help

 

You are all wonderful! 

With your help we reached our initial target of £2000, which means we are starting to get paid out for our LASP scheme, which starts in Autumn. 

Please continue to share, so we can continue and reach our stretch target of £5000.

If you have not done so already, please email five people you know.

And if you are on social media, please share our appeal (Over 10% of this fundraiser came through links on Facebook). 

Here is the link: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/nextgenjustice/

Quote @gmlawcentre (https://twitter.com/gmlawcentre) on Twitter or Facebook about it .

Current LASP student Leo Doherty: "I was surprised how badly the [Greater Manchester] Law Centre is needed by employed people on low incomes. I enjoyed meeting the people. You can tell how genuine their need is."

This is the issue:

Aspiring social welfare lawyers face increasing challenges in accessing the profession. Many law students don't have the option to study social welfare law as part of their law degrees or legal training. There is only a small number of trainee contracts available and due to the cuts the problem is particularly acute in the area of legal aid, where salaries are very low. Where is the next generation of specialist lawyers going to come from?

Social welfare work includes fighting for essential benefits, stopping homelessness and protecting the rights of vulnerable people. This work is not optional, but we are at risk of losing a generation of social welfare lawyers.

This is why the Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) campaigns for the next generation of social welfare lawyers.

And that is why we work together with students and have already trained many of them successfully. It does not make the professional situation they face easier, but from our own experience we know that it inspires them to be able to help people in the community. We are grateful that some of the students continue volunteering for us. It is such a precious programme which really needs your help.

Through our LASP scheme, we provide law students with high quality training and supervision to represent social welfare clients. This supports the next generation of social welfare lawyers whilst also providing life-changing representation for vulnerable people in Greater Manchester. To continue this scheme, we need your help.

Now we need your help to reach our full target to support the next generation of welfare lawyers.

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