Fellows: Anisa Altaf and Brooke Toon

Birmingham Community Law Centre

Birmingham Community Law Centre opened in October 2013 and in its first two years has helped over 1800 people. We provide legal advice on benefits, debt, community care, immigration and public law from our offices in Sparkbrook. We are part of Central England Law Centre which has offices in both Coventry and Birmingham. We have a separate operating budget to the Coventry office and now employ 8 staff and 5 volunteers. Our turnover for the coming financial year will be approximately £184,000.

Like all law centres, BCLC defends the legal rights of people who cannot afford a lawyer. We are a not-for-profit, solicitor-led legal advice agency able to provide an holistic service to the most vulnerable and deprived members of society. We deal with the law that affects everyday life. We do this in two ways:

(1) BCLC meets local community advice needs in the second most deprived neighbourhood in Birmingham, where the migrant population is 76%. In our community solicitor advice sessions, we deal with Welfare Benefits and Debts as well as an assortment of other legal issues for the local established migrant community. Our solicitor, Habib Ullah, is able to conduct culturally sensitive advice sessions in community languages and to understand the needs of the local community and build their trust in us.

(2) We also offer specialist expertise in migrants’ rights through a city wide network of organisations, within which we have built a strong reputation for undertaking complex and challenging casework in:

  • Migrants rights (funded by Barings Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy and Comic Relief) – access to asylum support, Children Act and Care Act support, impact of immigration status on benefits entitlement;
  • Immigration advice (funded by Barrow Cadbury pro bono project) – one off advice on a range of immigration issues;
  • Community Care (funded by legal aid) – Children Act and Care Act support for those with NRPF;
  • Public law challenges (funded by legal aid);
  • Benefits Upper Tribunal challenges (funded by legal aid).
  • We also offer training and guidance to other advice agencies across the city.

Birmingham Community Law Centre’s approach is to combine practical legal solutions at an early stage alongside complex and strategic legal challenges that can positively affect many other clients following behind.

For further information, visit our website.

© 2013 - 2019 The Legal Education Foundation
Registered charity 271297 (England/Wales)