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BPP University launches a new Welfare Rights Legal Advice Clinic

Tony Martin, Head of Clinics at BPP, launches our new clinics

There has been a surge in the demand for welfare rights advice since the fallout from the first lockdown in March 2020. The lack of Legal Aid means that access to social security law largely within the realms of charity work, while demand has inevitably increased as resources for such legal services have decreased.

In response to this growing need, BPP University’s Pro Bono Centre is launching a new Welfare Rights Legal Advice Clinic in London and Leeds.  Under the supervision of a qualified solicitor,  Pamela Lalbachan, BPP law students will reach out to our most vulnerable and provide free legal advice. The service will offer advice in a range of areas from applying for welfare benefits, via benefit sanctions, to making appeals to Tribunals.

This new Welfare Rights Legal Advice Clinic builds upon the success of BPP’s other pro bono legal advice clinics, in which almost 400 students were involved in providing free advice to 473 clients in 2020/21.  BPP has a 94% client satisfaction rate for its legal advice clinics.

The new Clinic is part of the LawWorks network of pro bono clinics.

Since 2015 BPP’s Legal Advice Clinics have held the Advice Quality Standard (AQS), the only sector-owned, independently audited quality standard which is awarded to services delivering social welfare legal advice. Of the 700 advice centres that hold the AQS, just three are law school clinics.  In June 2021, we passed the latest AQS audit with flying colours.  We are not required to put ourselves through the audit process; we do so because we know that our policies, processes and service level can stand the scrutiny of auditors and exceed all levels of expectation in terms of what we deliver.

Pamela Lalbachan was previously a welfare rights solicitor at South West London Law Centres.  She made a career change into the legal profession after working in the media and the arts and was a Justice First Fellow.

Pamela said:

“While free legal advice can already be found in much needed organisations like Citizens Advice Bureaus and Law Centres, the Welfare Rights Legal Advice Clinic hopes to offer support to existing services by drawing on its solicitors’ and barristers’ expertise to supervise BPP law students who give their time and skills to supporting the community. Students are very keen to assist in community work that can make a difference while at the same gaining valuable practical experience in the profession they have chosen for their future careers.”

To which I can only add that we are very proud to be able to expand our clinics to meet the need of some of the most vulnerable in society.  At BPP we believe that pro bono work is a vital part of the working lives of many solicitors and barristers, and we aim to install a pro bono ethic in our students: the lawyers of tomorrow.  Pro bono work is vital to help people who cannot afford to pay for legal advice to get access.

To book an appointment please ring 0330 0 603444 or email