Wrong! SHU Law is a fully regulated law firm. This means that we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and must adhere to the Codes of Conduct set by them, for both individuals and organisations when conducting our work.
In practice these means that we embed into the teaching of the next generation of lawyers a culture of ethics and compliance as set out in the codes. This is useful to our students as this sets them ahead of the game when seeking opportunities in law firms (where they will be bound by the terms of the Code of Conduct) and gives them an insight into the key aspects of the Codes such as conflicts of interests, client care, confidentiality. We also look at the consequences of not adhering to the codes.
As a regulated entity we can also conduct reserved legal activities. This means that as well as providing advice we can also provide representation at court. Just providing advice can lead to clients not completing the process that they need to reach finality in their legal matter. Whilst helpful, this can sometimes be frustrating for both the clients and those providing the advice (who have often become invested in what they have been doing and can see how much the person seeking advice needs a final outcome).
The numbers of litigants in person who start legal proceedings and try to represent themselves at court has increased in recent years. SHU Law wants to help those that cannot afford legal advice with these processes, hence seeking to establish itself as a law firm as opposed to a clinic.
We have to recognise however, that our roots lay in the foundations laid by the fabulous work undertaken by the HKC law clinic where several of our staff members, who undertook their undergraduate courses at Sheffield Hallam University, were able to gain their first experiences of the law in practice. There is no doubt that law clinics provide an invaluable service in the provision of not for profit or free legal advice and that there is room in the legal profession for all.
If you want to learn more about what you might experience as a student at SHU Law and the services that we provide then visit our website www.shulaw.co.uk.