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Law students advise local residents

law clinic

Students will be offering advice on legal and consumer matters

Law students from the University of Portsmouth are offering free-of-charge legal advice to local residents.

The students, from the School of Law, have set up two advice clinics, one focusing on debt and money, and the other focusing on consumer issues. From September 2013, accounting students will  also be providing advice in the debt and money advice clinic.

The clinics will be based in the John Pounds Centre in Portsea, Portsmouth, and run on Wednesday afternoons.

The debt clinic opened its doors on Wednesday 23 January and the consumer clinic will start on the 30 January. Both clinics run every week, and are open from 13:00 – 17:00.

To make an appointment, members of the public should contact Vicki Brown by phone on 02392844114 or via email at vicki.brown@port.ac.uk.

Students working at the debt clinic will offer advice for people who have trouble budgeting as well as helping with more serious matters, such as bankruptcy.

All work undertaken in the clinic will be overseen by solicitor Gemma Hargrave.  Gemma, who is employed by the University on a part-time basis, said: “In the current economic climate, and with the recent rise in popularity of ‘pay day loan’ companies, the issue of personal debt has never been more pressing. We will be able to design realistic budgets and devise payment plans that will get consumers out of debt as quickly as possible.“

The consumer clinic will offer advice on faulty goods and issues with provision of services.

Dr Damian Carney, Director of Clinical Legal Education in the School of Law, who will be on hand to advise and guide the students , said: “We will be offering advice on all types of consumer affairs. For example, if someone feels they are being charged unfairly for their mobile phone contract we will be able to look through the contract with them and see if it is enforceable.”

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