As part of his training, trainee solicitor Elliott Moulster has been seconded to work at the Nottingham Law Centre in order to obtain a broad range of experience prior to qualification.
This firm enjoys a close relationship with the Nottingham Law Centre. Solicitor Andrew Wesley is the chair of the Board of Trustees for the Law Centre, responsible for oversight and some strategic management, in a pro bono role.
Nottingham Law Centre is located directly opposite the Hyson Green Market in Radford, Nottingham. It specialises in providing free legal advice and representation in the areas of housing law, debt and social security law. As a result, it advisers try to assist some of the most vulnerable in society.
Elliott has begun to work alongside Diana Bagci who is part of the Law Centre’s Social Security Team, providing particular assistance to the local Roma community.
Elliott has now spent his first week in this busy not for profit organisation.
The week started with introductions to everyone who works and volunteers at the Centre. Elliott received the warmest of welcomes from everybody that he met.
Before being trusted with providing advice, Elliott began to receive his training. He had the opportunity to sit in on many client appointments. What impressed him most about this first day was the professionalism and empathy that staff members showed when dealing with cases that were both deeply personal and of extreme sensitivity.
After spending Monday meeting clients and advisers, Elliott spent much of Tuesday at Nottingham Law Centre reading some of the relevant law and guidance relating to benefits.
He acquainted himself with the regulations concerning the Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and the rules surrounding other benefits such as Universal Credit.
Elliott had further opportunities to sit in on further client interviews during the course of the day.
Elliott attended a meeting about combating modern slavery in the East Midlands. This event opened his eyes to the prevalence of such practises in the United Kingdom. This valuable insight will allow Elliott to help understand the experience of those clients who are victims of modern slavery.
The first half of Thursday was spent drafting a detailed letter to the Social Security Tribunal. The purpose of this letter was to make representations in support of an application to reconsider a previous decision of the tribunal. It was believed that the tribunal decision was in error, but that the problem could be rectified.
In the afternoon, Elliott attended a local Community Centre. This was to offer practical advice and assistance to members of the local Roma Community. Again, he found the experience very educational. He experienced a culture in some ways different to his own, and appreciated the opportunity to provide advice away from an office setting speaking directly to those in the community.
Unfortunately Elliott was unable to avoid returning to VHS Fletchers today to prepare some of Health and Safety prosecutions that he is working on. He will, however, return to Nottingham Law Centre next week to begin to provide advice.
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As a result, if you require advice about housing law, debt or benefits entitlement then we do not hesitate to recommend the excellent service provided by the Law Centre.