Trainee solicitor (and Trustee of Helping Uganda Schools) Charlotte Brinsley has helped to launch a scheme providing families with free legal advice while giving law students work experience.
The 25-year-old works in the Manchester office of Russell Jones & Walker, which is now owned by Australian law firm Slater & Gordon.
She has teamed up with the Manchester College of Law to set up a service at the Family Legal Advice Clinic, Openshaw, Manchester.
It will see two students from the College of Law meeting members of the public each week to discuss their family law issues, such as divorce or child custody matters.
The students will then take their notes back to the RJW offices, where lawyers will discuss the best initial advice to give.
They will also be trained in writing letters to the families they are advising.
Charlotte is herself a former College of Law student and played a key role in setting up the scheme.
She said: “As a student, the one thing that I really needed was practical work experience and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to give students the chance to meet clients while being supervised by the team at our offices.
“Originally I was going to carry out the pro bono work myself but this way I think more people will benefit.”
Paul Roebuck, pro bono co-ordinator at the College of Law, said: “This important new service will not only help the students to hone their practical legal skills but also instil in them a sense of responsibility to those in society who are most in need.”
Charlotte will qualify as a solicitor with RJW next September.