LAC Student Advisers
Connecting students to the legal profession and real client cases
The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre (LAC) provides free legal advice to the public and Queen Mary students and staff. We act as a first-tier advice agency, which means that we provide preliminary advice on the strength of a client’s case, outline the processes that need to be followed and explain complex legal issues. Clients come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds and present a wide range of legal issues. This provides our students with the opportunity to experience law in a practical context and to develop many of the skills required for successful entry into the profession.
What our Student Advisers do
Student Advisers in the LAC are selected from the second and final year LLB undergraduates at Queen Mary University of London. Our Student Advisers undergo an extensive training programme on Wednesday afternoons for six to seven weeks. The training is delivered by the legal profession, academics and QM Careers. Our Student Advisers are given their first client case after the first two weeks of training.
On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, we operate our advice sessions where the Student Advisers interview clients under the supervision of a volunteer solicitor from one of our partner law firms. After the client interview, the Student Advisers research the client’s legal issues and draft a letter of advice. Our Student Advisers must demonstrate that they can act professionally, abide by ethical codes of conduct and respect confidentiality. They must also commit to:
- Four evenings throughout the academic year, excluding the Christmas period but including reading weeks.
- Six or seven Wednesday afternoons for full training.
We work closely with our Student Advisers from the moment they join us. Our aim is to help them develop both professionally and personally. Everything we do, from the rules we put in place, to the procedures we follow, is all about a student’s professional development. In the LAC, we look beyond the obvious and have links with BABSEA, Lawyers without Borders, BLAGG, LAGLA, Stonewall, Age Concern, Thames Magistrates Court, Snaresbrook Court and many other organisations.
How to become a Student Adviser
You must be a second or final year LLB undergraduate at Queen Mary University of London to apply to become a Student Adviser. All you need to do is complete the application form online by the deadline provided by the LAC.
Students are selected on the basis of the following:
- Ability to meet the stated deadline
- Attention to detail on the application form
- Grammar and spelling
- Ability to demonstrate a clear understanding of the role of the Student Adviser
- Dedication to developing the skills required to become a Student Adviser
- Academic ability to understand and research complex legal issues
I enjoyed many aspects of the LAC but the most exciting and insightful aspect was definitely the interviews. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with real clients with real issues. It gave me an invaluable feel of what it is like to be a solicitor. I gained incredibly useful skills that I was not even aware of until the final skills session. The most useful to me were definitely my research, interpersonal and time management skills and my professionalism.
Ganan Sivayoganathan Student Adviser 2009 – 2010