Law student Matthew Moriarty has had an article published in the Oxford Mail about the Oxford Legal Assistance scheme, the University of Oxford’s pro bono legal scheme run by students alongside their studies. He says cuts to legal aid have meant more and more people are relying on schemes that give them access to justice for free. More than 30 undergraduate and graduate student volunteers each give up about two to three hours of their week each year to volunteer. They assist the Oxford branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as at a solicitors firm in Cowley. Later this year they will carry out a research project on the advice provided by CAB on personal debt to try to identify areas where CAB offices nationally can provide an even more effective service. They also write up the facts in the initial assessment for the solicitors, which releases the legal team to make time for the more complicated work they are qualified to do. This year about 10 graduate students will also be assisting lawyers to prepare bail applications for those detained at Campsfield Immigration Detention Centre.

Oxford Mail, 25/11/2014, p.12, Matthew Moriarty