The Legal Advice Centre at Nottingham Law School has launched a Business and Enterprise Law Service to provide affordable legal advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs and charities.
Supervising solicitors will guide law students in giving advice on a range of topics, such as choosing the right business structure; understanding how to comply with employment law; protecting intellectual property rights; and appropriate terms and conditions to manage customers’ expectations and rights.
A number of free events will also be held throughout 2017 to help for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and enterprises better understand their legal rights and obligations.
The Legal Advice Centre acts as a ‘teaching law firm’ and is fully regulated as an Alternative Business Structure by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It works closely with local firms, advice agencies, voluntary sector organisations and schools to develop pro bono opportunities for Nottingham Law School students.
Director of the Legal Advice Centre, Nick Johnson, said: “The number of people in self-employment is growing, as is the number of small to medium sized businesses, and legal costs can take a significant amount out of what may only be a small budget. This new service offers affordable access to initial legal advice on a whole range of topics, while also giving our students valuable commercial skills and experience.”
Dean of Nottingham Law School, Professor Janine Griffiths-Baker, added: “The Legal Advice Centre has been involved in a number of commercial advice projects, including the publication of two books on intellectual property, and we’re keen to grow this side of our service. The acquisition of an ABS licence has allowed the Centre to expand and while our main focus is still pro bono, we’re now able to offer additional services for a small charge – with any profit going back into the work of the Centre.”
The Legal Advice Centre received the LawWorks Award for Best Contribution by a Law School and the Access to Justice Foundation Award 2016. It was also nominated for a Law Society award for Excellence in Pro Bono and senior supervising solicitor, Faye Deverell, has recently been named Solicitor of the Year by the Nottinghamshire Law Society. Nottingham Law School was named Legal Education Provider of the Year in the Solicitor’s Journal Awards 2016.