Free Legal Advice Centre
The University of Edinburgh Free Legal Advice Centre (or as it is more commonly known, ‘FLAC’) was established by the former University of Edinburgh Diploma Director, the late Elaine Tyre in 2007. Since then, FLAC has continued to grow and we are constantly looking at ways to develop and grow the centre to achieve our aims.
Our aims, values, and mission
FLAC has three aims at its core:
- To provide excellent legal advice
- To support our community
- To enhance the learning experience of law students
A student-led law clinic
We are extremely proud that FLAC is a student-led project. At the start of each academic year, students from the Diploma are selected to sit on the FLAC Committee and Operations Team. The Committee, headed by the Student Director, liaises with the FLAC Coordinator and other members of the law school in how best to continue to meet the aims of the centre. Together they ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the centre.
Each Diploma student is involved as a Student Adviser and is allocated a Monday evening during which they attend the clinic in order to meet a client with a suitable case. This advisory element is an essential requirement of the assessed course, Professional Skills and Responsibility, which all Diploma students must complete.
The University of Edinburgh Free Legal Advice Centre was a finalist for the Frasia Wright Associates Community Contribution Award in the 2020 Scottish Legal Awards.
The Free Legal Advice Centre delivers pro bono legal services to members of the public living in and around the Edinburgh area who, for whatever reason, cannot access legal advice elsewhere. Student advisers, members of staff and qualified solicitors work together to offer advice on legal problems.
The centre is run by University of Edinburgh law students and Edinburgh Law School Staff and supported by volunteer solicitors. These volunteer solicitors supervise the student advisers and assist them in their research, but the student advisers are responsible for dealing with your case and contacting you.
✓ What we can do
We can provide advice and assistance on the following:
- Company & Commercial
- Intellectual Property
- Landlord and Tenant
- Wills and Inheritance
- Personal Injury
✘ What we can’t do
- Criminal Law
- Immigration Law
- Representation or advice in tribunals, hearing, or the vast majority of court cases
Lay Representation Service
Although we are unable to offer representation in tribunals, hearings and the vast majority of court cases, we are able to offer a limited Lay Representation Service in Simple Procedure (formerly Small Claims) cases up to £3,000 in Edinburgh Sheriff Court. We offer;
- Advice on whether the Lay Representation Service is an appropriate remedy for your particular problem
- Advice on initiating a Simple Procedure action
- Advice on defending a Simple Procedure action
- Representation throughout the whole process
Any representation in a Simple Procedure action, will be carried out by two Diploma students working in pairs, supervised by a qualified solicitor.
We are delighted to announce that we are moving our services online and from 12 October will be scheduling virtual appointments.
- To arrange an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 073 0150 (voicemail only) and confirm your full name, postal address including post code, telephone number and a brief summary of the issue you are looking for advice on.
- The answerphone and mailbox are checked regularly and our Administrator will call or email you back to discuss any further information we need and what help we can offer and, if we can assist, possible appointment times.
- After you have agreed an appointment slot, you will receive a confirmation letter. Please bring this letter with you to your appointment as well as a form of identification and any other documents relevant to your query. The letter will also contain directions to the Centre. Directions can also be found here.
- At the appointment you will be able to discuss your problem with your student adviser. All information discussed at this appointment will be strictly confidential. Your student adviser will seek your permission if they need to contact anyone on your behalf.
- After your appointment you will receive an Initial Letter outlining the details of your case and what steps, if any, the Centre will be taking.
- This letter will be followed by an Advice Letter which will include advice, any further work that the Centre can do on your behalf, or any other organisations we could refer you to that specialise in your legal problem.
- Once your case has been dealt with or referred to another organisation, you will receive a final letter stating that the Centre has closed your case and is no longer acting on your behalf.
If you have any queries about obtaining advice from our centre, please call our Freephone number on 0800 073 0150 (voicemail only) or e-mail at email@example.com and one of our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
We are moving all our services online and from 12 October will be scheduling virtual appointments.
You can make an appointment by calling the centre Freephone number on 0800 073 0150 (voicemail only) or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No. The service we provide is free. However, all donations are gratefully received. If you would like more information about donating, please email us at email@example.com.
The Free Legal Advice Centre is located at the University of Edinburgh Outreach Centre, 9B Holyrood Road.
No. We would advise visiting The Law Society of Scotland's website for comprehensive advice about finding legal aid for a criminal issue.
At present, we are unable to provide legal representation in tribunals or the vast majority of court cases. The Law Society of Scotland has a comprehensive list of solictors who can represent you.
You can contact the centre by calling our Freephone number on 0800 073 0150 and leave a message. A member of our team will call you back and answer any queries you have. Alternatively you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students are supervised by a qualified solicitor. This means that the advice we provide is always verified before you receive it.
The centre is run by students, academic staff, support staff and volunteer supervising solicitors.
The University of Edinburgh meets the day-to-day running costs of the centre. Contributions, made up of donations and funds raised by students, are put toward the future development of the centre.
The Free Legal Advice Centre delivers pro bono legal services to members of the public who are otherwise unable to access legal advice. In offering this service, Diploma students are given the opportunity to take part in hands-on legal work for the benefit of the wider community, whilst putting their legal skills into practice, often for the first time.
A commitment to pro bono work is extremely rewarding, but just as rewarding is the huge personal satisfaction you will have in contributing to the education of our students. They will be inspired by your knowledge and professionalism and you, in turn, will gain great satisfaction from supervising those who want to learn.
To find out more about what volunteering with the Free Legal Advice Centre involves, please contact Pro Bono Director, Rebecca Samaras at email@example.com.
All Diploma students will be involved as Student Advisers. This role forms part of the assessed course, Professional Skills and Responsibility.
If you are a Diploma student looking for more experience, there may be an opportunity for you to take on another case later in the Diploma year. Please let us know if this is the case by contacting the Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or speaking to the Centre coordinator or administrator.
Committee and Operations Team: Students undertaking the Diploma are encouraged to volunteer for a position on either the Student Committee or the Operations Team. Applications for these roles open near the beginning of each academic year with more information being provided on each role during Foundation Skills week. Positions are awarded following a successful interview.
The University of Edinburgh Law School’s Free Legal Advice Centre provides assistance to members of the public who would otherwise be unable to afford it. All pro-bono work is student led, under the close supervision of volunteer solicitors and law school staff. Your generous gift will help us to expand this important work, and give vulnerable members of the community access to justice.
Please make a donation today to support this vital service.
Community Fundraising for FLAC - the University's 'Fundraising Your Way' initiative is an excellent way to turn your hobby, interest or one off activity into an opportunity to raise funds for FLAC.