The Strategic Public Law Clinic (SPLC) is a joint initiative between Central England Law Centre (CELC) and Warwick LinC. It specialises in using public law strategically to address systemic disadvantage and achieve effective change. Students work with the Public Law and Human Rights team at CELC on a variety of projects that CELC would be unable to pursue without our students’ support.
Working in small groups, student volunteers receive supervision, guidance and mentorship from Karen Ashton Solicitor CELC's Head of Public Law and Human Rights alongside Dr Tara Mulqueen, Director of Warwick LinC.
Our projects are carefully selected to put legal learning into practice, find creative ways of using the law and develop leadership, communication and organisational skills in the social justice sector. Student volunteers are closely involved in devising and delivering project strategies, and not simply completing set tasks.
COVID-19: We have developed innovative and flexible ways of working, successfully adapting all of our recruitment and clinic work to be fully remote this year.
SPLC Projects undertaken include:
- Examining the impact of the Legal Aid Means Test on disabled people’s access to specialist legal advice
- Researching and developing a complete toolkit for accessing home fees and student finance for students with humanitarian protection. The project was completed by a team of students recruited online and working remotely during lockdown.
- Following a judicial review relating to exclusion of children of migrant families from the right to free nursery education for 2 year olds, the team developed a strategy to ensure that the agreement is implemented effectively across local authorities.
- Investigating the quality of healthcare services provided to detainees in immigration removal centres. This project ongoing and will continue into the new academic year
I must say thanks to everyone here. This whole piece of work makes me feel very proud. It really is fantastic that the law centre is in a place where we can take on the initial piece of litigation and then complete a piece of work that brings that legal victory into the real world in order to amplify its effect. Brilliant.- Michael Bates, Head of Services CELC Birmingham. Accessing student finance project
The volunteers and interns we have worked with have been dedicated, passionate and really eager to make positive change. It has been a pleasure working with them and we are very grateful for all of their contributions….. You listen and value our inputIRC Visitors’ Group Advocacy Co-ordinator
Strategic Public Law Clinic Internships
Each year we aim to offer paid internship positions over the summer break for interns to gain a more intensive, in-depth experience working on SPLC projects and ensure the valuable work of the clinic is able to continue all year round. Internships this year will be supported by the generous donations of alumni, donors and supporters of the University via the Warwick Innovation Fund. Visit this page for information on current opportunities and volunteering vacancies.
My internship has provided an invaluable opportunity to improve my legal and professional skills massively. I can now synthesise and structure large volumes of material quickly and easily, something that would have shell-shocked me before. I’ve learnt to solve problems in practice, prioritise and mange tasks and to express myself more concisely in written communication.
I’ve loved being around intellectual and professional role models, watching how they think and process information and make decisions in real time with real cases. You just don’t get that in lectures and seminars. More importantly, I’ve loved the freedom of this way of working, that I’m responsible for and trusted to solve problems and then justify to the team why I’ve done something in a certain way.
I am learning so much about opportunities for Public Law intervention, opportunities to intervene on behalf of the client and the need to watch how things are shaped by the news and what’s going on. Decisions impact on ordinary people and it’s important to hold authorities to account.
Summer 2020 intern