Family Email Advice Line (FEAL)
ABOUT THE PRO BONO PROGRAMME
The Pro Bono Programme has been established to enable students studying at the Chester branch of the University of Law to obtain practical legal experience.
Our students are not professionally qualified but will be working under the supervision of University staff and/or external solicitors. The Pro Bono Programme is supervised by Solicitors holding practising certificates. The Pro Bono Programme aims to provide a high standard of service similar to that offered by any Solicitors’ practice.
On receipt of your instructions a Supervisor will consider whether your case can be dealt with. If at this stage it appears that we are unable to give you advice, either due to the nature of your case, pressure of time or complexity, you will be informed by letter/e-mail. The Pro Bono Programme will, wherever possible, give information of other organisations or bodies which may be able to help you & their contact details
If we accept your case we will allocate the enquiry to a student, or pair of students. The student(s) will discuss your case with a Supervisor. The final approved letter of advice is normally sent to you within two weeks of receipt of completed FEAL Client Information Form (for FEAL clients). If for any reason this is not possible you will be informed before the original deadline expires.
The Pro Bono Programme provides a general advice only service. This means that we cannot represent you in court or at any other hearing. However, where possible the Pro Bono Programme will offer a referral to an appropriate body or organisation. These limitations are necessary because students are not qualified to appear in court and the Pro Bono Programme solicitors cannot commit to the time required to prepare and present a case in court. If further advice is sought, this may be offered but usually with a different set of Student Advisors.
The Pro Bono Programme does not charge for its services. However, you should be aware of the following points:
You may be eligible for publicly funded help and representation to pursue or defend your claim (formerly known as “Legal Aid”). The Pro Bono Programme can refer you to a Solicitor who may be able to obtain such assistance for you. If you are eligible to receive assistance you may be liable to pay a contribution. You may also be liable to repay your costs from any money or property recovered.
If you decide to pursue court or tribunal proceedings you may be ordered to pay the costs of your opponent if you lose your case.
The Pro Bono Programme has insurance cover provided by the University’s Insurers. If the Programme were to be negligent in the handling of your case you would be covered by this insurance and we would be under a duty to advise you of the possibility of a claim were such circumstances to arise.
WHAT IF I WISH TO MAKE A COMPLAINT?
We hope you will be satisfied with the service provided by our Pro Bono Programme. However, if you do wish to complain you should address your complaint in writing to:
Supervising Solicitor and Pro Bono Co-ordinator
The University of Law
If you are dissatisfied with their response, you can request that the matter be investigated by the Senior Pro Bono Co-ordinator at the University of Law. Their details will be given on request.
*Note for FEAL clients: By submitting your enquiry electronically to the University of Law, you are confirming that you have read and accept the terms set out in this document.
Please also note that the FEAL service only operates during term times.
HOW TO USE THE SERVICE
Go to our submission page to complete your enquiry form
Family Email Advice Line Submission Form