Leeds lawyers sign up to new mentoring scheme

20 lawyers in Leeds have signed up as mentors for a public legal education scheme.

The program, called StreetLeeds, has been launched in response to widespread demand for legal knowledge from locals and voluntary sector organisations.

Officially kicking off in 2016, it will be delivered by universities to promote understanding about legal rights and responsibilities to those who would not otherwise have access to it.

BPP University Law School, the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and the University of Law have all come together to deliver StreetLeeds after a comprehensive survey of 30 key service providers working with vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in the city highlighted significant demand for legal information from their users. Voluntary service providers are also keen to learn more about the legal issues facing their clients.

Professor Alistair Mullis, Head of the Law School at the University of Leeds and the instigator of the initiative, said that the project’s importance could not be ignored.

“This is a unique project that draws together the four Leeds’ law schools and Leeds’ powerful legal profession. Most importantly it responds to a need identified by our City’s communities,” he said. “We are proud to be involved and look forward to supporting the project over the coming years.”

One of the mentors, Emma Brooksbank, head of immigration at Simpson Millar, said: “Simpson Millar is delighted to be acting as one of many mentors on the StreetLeeds Project.”

“The project offers an innovative collaboration between students at key Universities in the city, the legal profession and voluntary sector organisations. By pooling such wealth of expertise and talent, both participants and recipients will benefit in the long term. This project is well on its way to stand out as a new and leading approach to legal education and I am personally excited to be part of it.”

Workshops are already in the diary and an official launch event for the community has been planned for early February.

For more information and to sign up as a mentor, email streetleeds@streetleeds.uk.