Shoosmiths’ trainees launch pro-bono partnership with The University of Law
19 July 2022
Trainee solicitors from law firm Shoosmiths are offering free legal advice to charities and small business owners as part of an exclusive partnership with The University of Law (ULaw).
The future lawyers from the firm’s Birmingham office sought out the opportunity to become one of the first external law firms to partner with ULaw on its Small Business Advice Line (SBAL).
They now offer pro-bono advice on a large variety of corporate and commercial matters in the monthly virtual clinics where they are supported by aspiring solicitors from the university.
The scheme works with ULaw students making initial contact with potential clients, obtaining information on their issue and setting up the appointments.
The trainees and a supervising qualified lawyer from Shoosmiths attend the clinic, review the client’s issue, and provide general legal advice on their position and their options going forward.
This means the students can gain valuable experience drafting attendance notes and discussing legal matters with their Shoosmiths’ advisors.
Linking up with SBAL was the brainchild of Shoosmiths trainees Ed Morris, Sophie Warren, Zoe Evans, Manisha Punj and Isabella Andrade.
They are all set to volunteer and offer expert advice on a myriad of commercial law matters including issues around contracts, corporate structure, IP and data protection, and also offer vital careers advice to the Ulaw students.
Ed Morris said: “In such difficult times for so many small and start-up businesses, it has been so rewarding to support, advise and make a difference to those who need it. I am so proud to be a part of this new initiative and appreciate the support of the university and Shoosmiths.”
Sophie Warren also commented: “As junior lawyers, we are proud to be helping and supporting businesses in the local community alongside establishing our relationship with The University of Law. We are really excited to be part of the growth of the project.”
Jenny Seymour, pro bono co-ordinator at ULaw added: “We are very excited to be working with the team at Shoosmiths on this initiative.
“The university is committed to providing practical experience to our students to prepare them for successful future careers. This is a great opportunity for them to gain insight into the legal profession and to give back by helping small and start-up businesses.”