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Coventry Law Centre

Volunteering Opportunity in Asylum and Immigration Team: How to Apply

Read about this volunteering opportunity below. Applicants must be in at least the 2nd year of their undergraduate studies or be postgraduate students. Please note that the final deadline for submission of CV and covering letter is Tuesday 13th October at 2.00pm. For more details of the whole application process see section 3 below.

 

1. Background on Coventry Law Centre

 

Coventry Law Centre is a charity employing solicitors and advice workers providing free legal advice and representation to people whose rights have been breached in our area. They say:

"We specialise in the following areas of law: Discrimination, Employment, Family, Health & Community Care, Housing, Immigration and Asylum, Money and Debt, Public Law and Welfare Benefits

We offer specialist advice and representation and our aim is to use the law to protect people’s fundamental rights. We prevent removals of people to countries where they are likely to face torture and ill treatment or execution. We assist people who have been trafficked into the UK or face extreme violence within the home or outside.

As a Law Centre we take on around 2800 cases each year and have secured tens of millions of pounds for clients in arrears, additions to income and compensation over the years. We also succeed in cases which cannot be given a monetary value, such as preventing evictions, representing victims of torture and ill treatment in immigration and asylum matters. We represent our clients at the Tribunals, the Administrative courts and the Court of Appeal.

We take on test cases that may well have an impact beyond the actual case fought."

 

2. What Student volunteers will do...

 

Coventry Law Centre has worked closely with the University of Warwick School of Law and the Centre for Human Rights in Practice over many years. CLC offers the opportunity for students to volunteer within the Law Centre.

Students work with the immigration and asylum team. Their role is to work under the guidance of the advisers in the team to undertake work on cases and to see clients, This gives the student an excellent opportunity to develop their research and interviewing skills and to learn about immigration and asylum law in practice. Students would also be expected to help prepare for cases to go to Tribunal or court and carry out other tasks.

The Law Centre can offer volunteer placements to students who are willing to commit to at least one 3 and a half our session a week for the full academic year. Students are welcome to volunteer for more sessions as well as during holidays if they wish.

The Law Centre staff work under considerable pressure and demand for services is very high. Students are therefore expected to contribute positively, to be reliable and to take the opportunity seriously. Many Law Centre clients will be stressed and anxious and they place their trust in the Centre. For immigration and asylum clients the issues at stake are very high and students will need to display empathy as well as instilling confidence in the client.

 

3. How to Apply

 

If you think you have the right skills and you can make the required time commitment, please make an application. Applicants must be in at least the 2nd year of their undergraduate studies or be postgraduate students.

Applicants should submit a short CV (maximum 2 pages) and 150 word covering letter explaining why they want to volunteer at the Law Centre and why they should be chosen. Applications should be sent by email to James Harrison at J.Harrison.3@warwick.ac.uk. Please also indicate the times you are available for interview, should you be selected, on Friday 16th October between 1pm and 5pm.

The application process will be as follows:

Friday 9th October at 5pm in S0.20 - presentation by Robert Bircumshaw from the Immigration Team at the Centre explaining about Coventry Law Centre, the work of the immigration team and the role of student volunteers

Tuesday 13th October at 2.00pm – Deadline for submission of CV and covering letter.

Thursday 15th October by 2.00pm - Shortlisted students will be requested to attend interview

Friday 16th October – shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview at Coventry Law Centre. You will be given a precise time to attend (please let us know your availability from 1pm-5pm).

Week of Monday 19th October onwards – successful candidates will be provided with training and should be ready to start volunteering at the Centre.