Fellow: Jess Haley

Avon and Bristol Law Centre

Avon & Bristol Law Centre, is a member of the Law Centres Network. It aims to promote and provide access to justice for those in most need in Bristol and across the South West.

Our solicitor led team of 22 staff carry out specialist casework, training and consultancy support across the following areas of social welfare law :-

  • Discrimination
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Mental Health
  • Public Law
  • Welfare Benefits

In addition we receive grant funding innovative projects:

  • Ask Us Help in Crises project for young people aged 16-25 years of age
  • Children’s Immigration Solicitor
  • Legal Advice Support Project – funding to enable us to train students in legal skills and representation
  • Pilot – Litigant in person project – to seek ways in which we can reduce the pressure on family courts and enable clients to represent themselves.
  • Pilot – Tenancy Support Project
  • Pilot – Virtual Law Clinic – using Skype to provide pro bono advice to clients in Somerset and North Somerset

We aim to focus our resources on providing free high quality legal services to vulnerable and disadvantaged people living at the margins of our society, where our support can make the greatest difference, whether through ensuring access to health & social care, challenging unlawful discrimination, maintaining employment, securing accommodation, achieving safety for those feeling violence & torture, representing those detained under the Mental Health Act or enabling people to access the benefits to which they are entitled.

We deal with over 5000 enquiries per year and take on approx 2000 cases. Demand for our services continues to increase as external factors have resulted in a decrease in our resources. We are addressing this through developing existing and new partnerships across the advice and wider voluntary sectors to ensure clients get the help they need sooner.

We are committed to continuing to provide access to justice without charge to clients who need it most. We are working in new ways to enable this to happen. One example is our student advocacy project which trains and supports law students to carry out welfare benefit appeal cases from start to finish and which has been hugely successful with clients and students alike.

Our vision is a society where everyone has access to justice.

Our mission is to improve the lives of disadvantaged people in Bristol and across the South West through providing access to justice.

Our objectives are:

  1. To secure justice through legal advice and representation;
  2. To influence public policy; and
  3. To empower local communities to better exercise their rights.

We have experience of managing and supporting a Justice First Fellowship Trainee. Our previous trainee completed her training in 2018 and was immediately offered a full time contract with the charity. Although this is not a guarantee, we hope it will demonstrate our support to the Justice First Fellowship Project.

For further information, visit our website.

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Registered charity 271297 (England/Wales)