Students and the Community
If you were ever thinking that studying law at university is all about books and not about real life, think again. It doesn’t have to be that way. The School of Law at Sheffield allows its students to use their legal skills to make a difference and give something back to the community.
The school runs a free legal clinic and also has it's own Sheffield Law School Innocence project both run by students under the guidance of academics and trained solicitors and barristers.
Students who volunteer for FreeLaw help charities by researching areas of social welfare law. Their work is checked by lawyers from Irwin Mitchell who offer their professional guidance. In this way, the charities are given relevant legal information which helps them find a voice and fight for the rights of their clients. We also open our doors as a drop-in clinic staffed by students for the local community, to expand our work to with Law Centres and Citizens Advice Bureau. Contact them with a query: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0114 222 6774
The Sheffield Law School Innocence Project
The Sheffield Law School Innocence Project is a unique opportunity for Sheffield law students to investigate cases of convicted people maintaining their innocence, who have exhausted the initial appeals process. Our student volunteers study “justice in error” and aim to find evidence that will assist in making an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission for that person’s case to be reviewed for referral back to the Court of Appeal. Legal aid isn’t always available to people maintaining their innocence and continuing to appeal, so here’s where our law students really make a difference, by offering their services free of charge.
The project is innovative giving students a unique first-hand experience and insight into this area of criminal justice utilising a mentored teaching environment to maximize learning opportunities. Skills gained through the project enable students to be more equipped for professional practice beyond their studies making them more attractive to potential employers
The FreeLaw Clinic and Sheffield Law School Innocence Project are housed in the Lodge at the entrance to the School of Law in newly renovated accommodation.
The School of Law is involved in several projects run by our own widening participation officer Dr Claire McGourlay.
Over 1300 pupils have been involved in widening participation projects here at the School of Law. Many events involve student-centred learning activities to introduce Higher Education Learning and teaching practice. All events are designed to inspire self belief and to empower pupils to fulfil their potential.
The Discover Law programme targets pupils from disadvantages backgrounds promoting access to the legal profession and Russell group Universities. Pupils are better prepared for university through a sustained 2 year programme including court and prison visits. Parental advice is also provided. By July 2011 of the 140 participants, 30 have studied or are currently studying law here with us, 43 are studying Llw, but at a different institution, and a further 33 went on to study different subjects in higher education.
"Having come from a background where no-one had been to university, PPP was the extra stepping stone I needed to familiarise myself with the university environment and increase my confidence - Without it, I don't think I would be where I am, currently studying for the Legal Practice Course to become a Solicitor"
Discovering Law Conference gives teenagers an insight into the legal profession and studying Law at University and was introduced to inspire a future in higher education.
We collaborate with South Yorkshire Police to bring Court in the Act events to the School of Law. Working with experts from the police, education welfare officers, the CPS and the probation service we have hostedover 500 pupils ar interactive trials where participants are the audience and the jury. These educate ppils on the role of law in society and its impact on their lives.
Well informed teachers support and motivate pupils. The A' Level Teachers Conference was introduced to allow knowledge transfer and to inform teachers from a from a range of schools, colleges and communities.
Together our initiatives provide a distinctive suite of events that successfully engage, involve motivate and inspire pupils to realise their talent and ambitions