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Legal Advocacy & Support Project (LASP) volunteers

Closing date: Tuesday, 31st March 2020

LASP is a project run by the Bristol Law Centre. Volunteer law students work with the Welfare Benefits team to run Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals to the First-tier Tribunal. Students are given a high level of responsibility and expected to work reliably and to a high standard.

Please submit your application form by:

9:00am on Tuesday 31st March 2020

Short-listing:    Wednesday 1st April (by 6pm)

Interviews:      Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th April

Start date:       mid June

You can download the application pack from the links below:

Legal Practice Volunteer Role Description

Advocacy Volunteer Role Description

Application Form

LASP Equalities Monitoring Form

The students accepted onto the project will engage in a variety of legal tasks including:

  • Review the papers in each case,
  • Meet with claimants to discuss their cases,
  • Produce various legal documents (such as witness statements and written submissions),
  • Contact medical and support professionals for further evidence, and
  • Represent the claimant in their hearing.

We are looking for students who are passionate about helping those struggling with disability and long-term ill-health. Students will need to have an excellent eye for detail in reading and drafting documents, and be able to recognise key pieces of evidence which support or undermine a case.

Please note: we are currently recruiting for two volunteer roles within LASP: Legal Practice Volunteers (LPVs) and Advocacy Volunteers (AVs).

Advocacy Volunteers immediately specialise in either PIP or ESA. Their role is focused on preparing clients for the appeal through pre-hearing interviews, writing legal submissions, and representing the client at the appeal hearing. This is the ideal role for aspiring barristers and advocates.

Legal Practice Volunteers are responsible for making the initial contact with clients to open their case, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the case through writing evidence notes, and maintaining written contact with clients. Legal Practice Volunteers will develop legal knowledge in both ESA and PIP, as they will be required to assess the merit in both types of cases. Experienced Legal Practice Volunteers may later choose to specialise in either ESA or PIP, where they will be responsible for drafting client witness statements, writing submissions, and representing clients at the tribunal. This role is ideal for students that want to gain a thorough knowledge of all aspects of a case from start to finish.

We will accept applications from law students at undergraduate level and above, and will be looking for evidence of academic excellence and willingness to commit time to the project.

We require LASP volunteers to attend a 4 hour session per week for 40 out of the first 52 weeks of starting on the project in order to ensure clients receive continuity and support which is paramount to the success of the project.

(For the same reason we require volunteers to be available for 12 out of the 18 weeks from June to September 2020).