Ritika Vig

The Clinical Legal Education (CLE) module provides a pathway to apply the theoretical knowledge learned during the past 2 years to the practical world. It involves meetings with clients in a professional zone, interviewing them, show-casing and working on skills such as active listening, active communication, empathy, drafting advice letters, and self-reflection.

In the module overall, not only do you get to meet with clients, interview them, and take notes; but you also get an opportunity to research and draft advice letters for the client.

I have been so lucky to have been able to represent the module on the Client Student Board. My role is to communicate what would help improve the module/ professor-student relationship. To provide support to students on the course, but also to set out clear expectations to and for the clients.

law student Ritika

Rhiannon Smith

I was initially attracted to choosing Swansea as the staff I had met from the Law School were really welcoming and seemed genuinely interested in their students’ satisfaction with their studies. Having been here for nearly three years now, I can fully attest that this is the case and that student needs are at the heart of the Law School. One of the things I appreciate most about studying in Swansea is the attention given to student voice, and the fact staff are always so approachable if ever I need help.

Although I was not particularly aware of the Swansea Law Clinic when I first became a student here, my involvement with it has only served to reaffirm my decision to study here. Since the start of my second year I have been a volunteer with the Miscarriage of Justice Project run by the Clinic, in which a group of students work together with the Clinic Director on behalf of charity Inside Justice to investigate the safety of our clients’ conviction. Being part of this Project has been valuable for giving me experience in working on a real-life criminal case, something I doubt I would have otherwise had the opportunity to do. In addition to this, I have had the opportunity to represent the Project on the newly-formed Student Board, allowing me to participate in the running of the Clinic.

As I am hoping to pursue a career in the legal profession upon graduation, the practical experience I have gained through being part of Swansea Law Clinic is incredibly important to help me stand out amongst other candidates. Aside from the obvious legal aspects of the Law Clinic, participation has given me the chance to develop other skills which will be useful in a future workplace, such as teamwork, communication and handling confidential information.

a head shot of law student rhiannon

Megan Sumner

The Legal Clinic has helped me to gain practical experience in applying my legal knowledge to support clients with real-life scenarios. The experience has allowed me to develop my communication and interpersonal techniques, whilst also building my confidence in everyday skills needed to be a solicitor. I would highly recommend getting involved with the Legal Clinic if you are looking for first-hand advisory experience!

law student Ritika

Nia Phillips and Kelly Barlow

What does being involved with the Miscarriage of Justice Project entail?

Kelly: It involves working alongside the charity, Inside Justice. Their Advisory Board gives us a case to review whether someone is factually innocent and we then work on this case investigating this.

Nia: Absolutely, we work alongside multiple agencies and ask for help from experts. This allows us to understand the threshold for proof.

Kelly: And from their case we look at police transcripts of interviews with our client, then we research the evidence involved in a case to see if it still holds up in court. We also consider previous convictions and evidence methods which are now not considered sound in order to prove our client is actually factually innocent.

Nia: We work as a close-knit team to help a real person achieve justice and it is that same team doing the research and asking the questions to get to the point of proving an unsafe conviction.

What does the law clinic mean to you?

Nia: The law clinic is a safe space, my thoughts and ideas are valued and are always considered. It is also a professional working environment making me feel like my work is truly important whilst also showing me that in work its ok to ask for help. Being a member of the law clinic has given me many opportunities which will stay with me for the rest of my life and has allowed me to be confidence in everything that I do.

Kelly: The law clinic is a place where I can make real change and a real difference to people. It represents how important Pro Bono work is in the community around us and how when the justice system has negatively impacted a client such as with the miscarriage of justice project, we are there to catch them and help. It shows the impact a university can have not just for the students but on the community as a whole. Most importantly it is one of the best experiences I have had both at university and outside of it and I will never forget the impact it has had on me. 

head shots of law students Nia and Kelly