A TEAM of law students has reopened a free legal advice clinic to the public.

The award-winning family law clinic at the University of Sussex helps people with problems including family disputes, divorce, separation, co-habitation, financial procedural issues and matters relating to children.

Students normally meet members of the public on campus under the supervision of a solicitor, but the clinic is now taking bookings for online consultations.

The clinic’s director Dr John Jupp from the School of Law, Politics and Sociology said: “The pressures of lockdown are putting families under great strain and for some this may sadly be a breaking point. For others, longstanding family problems have become urgent.

“We decided to reopen the family law clinic using online video technology to offer our expertise to help people in these situations. Other legal professionals and I oversee a team of brilliant law students who are really keen to use the skills they’re learning to help people.

“If you’re local to the University of Sussex, and you need some legal advice on a family law matter, do please get in touch via our website.”

Bryony Spicer, a fourth year student who volunteers with the family law clinic, said: “The family law clinic is a great way to help those in their greatest time of need.

“I enjoy doing the clinic because it allows me to give back to a community I have grown up in and help those who would otherwise have no one. During this pandemic it is easy for clients to feel lost and alone, and I’m glad I can do my bit to help.”

James Chapman, a fourth year law student who volunteers with the family law clinic, said:

“This pandemic has been so straining on friendships, family, and other relationships, it feels like there’s no better time to be a point of support for those in need.

“Clients come to us with a great deal of anxiety and find themselves in a personal crisis as they usually can’t resolve their problems alone.

“It is a true privilege to be able to sit and interact with clients and work to find a solution, with guidance from expert barristers and solicitors.”

The University of Sussex law clinics have won several awards, including the Advice Project of the Year Award from Citizens Advice in 2018.

People can contact the clinic by email at familylawclinic@sussex.ac.uk.