About Pro Bono & Clinical Legal Education
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
Taken together, the first and second aims are the traditional pro bono aims (‘for the public good’). This means we exist in order to increase access to justice. To do this we want to provide a service to those who, for whatever reason, cannot access legal advice elsewhere.
The third aim gives law students at the University of Edinburgh an opportunity to put their legal knowledge and skills into practice. This is also known as clinical legal education. Instead of spending all their time in traditional studies, our Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (the “Diploma”) students are given the opportunity to interact with and help real people from our community, advising on live legal issues under the supervision and guidance of law school staff and colleagues working in practice.
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.
Unlike other law clinics, only graduate students undertaking the Diploma may currently participate in FLAC, although this is something we hope to change.
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