Pop-up Family Law Clinic to open at domestic abuse charity Future Living Hertford

7 November 2019

The University of Hertfordshire is extending its Hertfordshire Law Clinic service, a new pro-bono legal advice service for the local community in Hertfordshire, to include a satellite clinic based at domestic abuse charity Future Living Hertford.

The pop-up Family Law Clinic will offer free, professional family law advice in a safe and trusted space at this award-winning charity, for women and men who have experienced domestic abuse. The Family Law Clinic at Future Living Hertford will be open on Wednesdays at Future Living in Hertford between 2pm-4pm during University term time only, by appointment in advance.

Following national cuts to Legal Aid there is very limited funding available for family law advice, and many local law firms in Hertfordshire have been forced to stop offering family legal aid work altogether. This has left many victims of domestic abuse with limited opportunities for obtaining professional legal support.

The Family Law Clinic will provide free, professional family law advice for Future Living Hertford’s clients under the supervision of qualified lawyers. Clients will attend an appointment with two Student Advisers and receive free written legal advice within fourteen days of the appointment, which will have been prepared under the supervision of qualified lawyers.

Diana Kirsch, Director of Pro-Bono at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The University’s Family Law Clinic at Hertford Future Living will provide a much-needed service to women and men who have been victims of domestic abuse, offering professional advice in a setting that they know and trust. Our confidential advice will help our clients handle legal issues including the breakdown of their relationship, divorce and child contact disputes. The Hertfordshire Law Clinic will provide a vital service for the local community following the decimating cuts to legal aid in 2012 for issues relating to family law, particularly for families on lower incomes.”

Sandra Conte, Chief Executive at Future Living Hertford, commented: “We are delighted to be able to host this Family Law Clinic at Future Living Hertford – something that is much needed for our clients.  There is a big gap in services for clients on low incomes - this clinic will bridge that gap, allowing those who need it most in our community, to get the support that they need.

“The clinic will also consolidate our position in the community as a Health & Well being hub and extend the help and support we can jointly provide to our clients.  I am looking forward to a really exciting partnership with the University of Hertfordshire.”

Robert Voss CBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, commented: “As Patron of Future Living Hertford and as a Governor of the University of Hertfordshire I am doubly delighted that the Family Law Clinic will be open at Future Living. This will provide a wonderful opportunity for people to obtain legal advice on a pro bono basis to which they otherwise would have no access.

“It will allow those who have suffered domestic abuse the opportunity to establish their rights which I know will be of enormous benefit and even relief to a number of sufferers. I must express my thanks to the Dean of the  Law School of the university for agreeing to take this initiative forward and believe there will be mutual benefit for all parties.”

Family Law Clinic at Hertford Future Living details:

The Hertfordshire Law Clinic is open on Wednesdays between 2.00 and 4.00pm during term time only.

To book an appointment email probono@herts.ac.uk or call 01707 284115.



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