Case study: students making a difference

It is not only seasoned lawyers who take on pro bono cases – there are many law students who volunteer under the supervision of qualified lawyers.

A student adviser volunteering with the Free Representation Unit (FRU) Nottingham took on a case of unfair dismissal and breach of contract. The employer had gone into voluntary liquidation, but the Employment Tribunal had stayed proceedings, mistakenly thinking that the liquidation had been compulsory. 

Thanks to persuasive legal submissions prepared by the student adviser under the supervision of a FRU legal officer, the stay of proceedings was lifted by the Tribunal, and the client was awarded a life-changing sum of over £25,000. 

The outcome of this case was a success for both client and student: without the student’s help, the client would have struggled to lift the stay on proceedings and might not have been able to obtain judgment in her favour. For the student, the case not only provided valuable experience, but also the opportunity to witness first-hand the difference pro bono help can make to someone’s life.