About our Support at Court Service
Welcome to Hertfordshire Support at Court Service provided by the University of Hertfordshire. This is a free support service provided by law students and supervised by university staff.
About the supporters
Your supporters are students who are studying for a degree in law or postgraduate law qualification. We have found that working with real people and their cases is one of the best ways there is to learn about the law. We hope we are also educating future lawyers to provide a good service to the public throughout their careers. Our students are not qualified lawyers; but they are working under the supervision of experienced, and often professionally qualified, university staff.
How the support works
Once you have completed and returned this form, the details will be checked by a supervisor from the University and a decision will be taken as to whether support can be provided. If there is a problem we will let you know as soon as possible. If we can assist you, you will be allocated a pair of student supporters (who work together) and given an appointment for an online video meeting with them to discuss your case and assist you.
We will aim to make this appointment as close to your court hearing date as possible, but unfortunately cannot offer you a choice of dates/times. Please also note that at present we can only offer appointments on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
The online video appointments are provided using Zoom and instructions on how to access your meeting will be given.
The supporters are able to provide support such as:
- providing reassurance
- explaining the court process and procedure
- helping you to complete court forms & organise your papers
- offering top tips (e.g. prepare a note of what you want to say at court)
- signposting where you can get further help.
Please note they cannot provide any legal advice and cannot act any further in your case after the online appointment.
Can the support come to the (telephone) hearing with me?
Due to ongoing COVID-19 related restrictions and limits on court facilities, the supporters are currently not able to attend any hearing – whether at court or by telephone.
What about money?
The Support at Court services offered are entirely free.
At the end of their appointment with you the supporters will help you in deciding what next steps you should consider. They will also offer signposting of where you can get further advice and assistance moving forward.
Data Protection and GDPR
What if I am dissatisfied?
Hertfordshire Support at Court project is committed to providing a high quality service, including the prompt resolution of any complaints. If you are unhappy with the service you have received, please ask to speak to the Director of Pro Bono, Diana Kirsch, in the first instance.
If the Director of Pro Bono is unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily, you may make a formal complaint in writing to the Dean of the Law School. Please provide your name and address with details of your complaint, including the date on which it occurred in a letter clearly headed “Formal Complaint“. We recommend you send your letter by recorded delivery and keep a copy for your reference. Please address your letter to: Penny Carey, Hertfordshire Law School, De Havilland Campus, Mosquito Way, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9EU.
We aim to send you an initial written acknowledgement of your complaint within two weeks from the date of receipt. Your complaint will be investigated and we aim to send you a final written decision within eight weeks from the original date of receipt.