Sussex Clinical Legal Education

Sussex Clinical Legal Education facilitates a variety of pro-bono (not for profit) projects.

What are Law Clinics?

Law Clinics are part of a law school programme providing field level legal experience to students who engage with clients and members of the community. Students are supervised by academics in the relevant fields (housing, welfare, family, employment, etc.) and often – by legal practitioners.

Why Have Law Clinics?

The experience of the past decade in Britain, and the past 40 years in the US, has shown that students learn more from the clinical law programmes than from traditional lectures and seminars. And so, the expansion and enrichment of student legal education is a central aim of the clinical legal education programme. In addition, clinics offer valuable assistance to members of the community who are in need. Finally, clinics provide students with relevant opportunities to develop their vocational skills and offer work experience that can be vital for their future career prospects.

Sussex Clinical Legal Education

Sussex Clinical Legal Education is the umbrella structure within Sussex Law School (SLS) providing links to a variety of pro-bono (not for profit) legal projects. The aim of these projects is to provide much needed assistance within the community, as well as providing students with vital experience of law in practice. Launched in September 2016, final year students are involved via the optional, final year ‘Clinical Legal Education’ module, or by volunteering directly, across a wide range of clinics and projects.


The Sussex Law Clinics are not a law firm and are not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We do, however, aim to provide the same high standard of service expected in the practice of law. In particular, ethical obligations, including the rules of confidentiality, apply to all work undertaken at any of our law clinics. All of our students and volunteers receive thorough training, guidance and supervision by solicitors, barristers and academics.

Clinical Legal Education Projects:

Citizens Advice Project

This project is run in collaboration with Citizens Advice in West Sussex. The Citizens Advice service offers generalist advice on a range of issues relevant to people in need in the local community. Students deliver advice to clients face to face and by telephone, email and webchat. There are also opportunities to take part in Citizens Advice policy, research and campaign work by gathering frontline data.

The project is led by Bonnie Holligan.

Employment Law Clinic

The Employment Law Clinic provides free legal advice to members of the public in the following areas:

  • bogus self-employment
  • atypical work
  • illegal deduction of pay
  • employment discrimination
  • unfair dismissals
  • zero-hour contracts
  • trade union freedoms

Meetings are conducted by final year law students and supervising practitioners (solicitors or barristers) and are held on campus, but can also be conducted online, if needed. For further information, visit our Employment Law Clinic webpage

Family Law Clinic

Free legal advice is provided to the local community through the Family Law Clinic, in partnership between in-house and external lawyers. Find out more on our Family Law Clinic page.

The Family Law Clinic is led by Jeanette Ashton 

Housing Law Clinic


Brighton Housing Trust Pro Bono is a collaborative law clinc between Brighton Housing Trust Advice Centre and Sussex Law School, giving students the opportunity to take part in digital, legal and administrative assistance in the provision of advice within the centre, as well as offsite case management and research, visits to the County Court to assist in Duty Solicitor, and clerking. 


The Housing Law Clinic is led by Will McCready.

Criminal Justice Law Clinic

The Criminal Justice Law Clinic (CJLC) accepts enquiries from members of the public in the areas of:

  • criminal offences
  • appeals against conviction and/or sentence
  • prisoner rights

The CJLC also collaborates with charitable organisations. We currently collaborate with JENGbA, a campaign group which provides assistance to people seeking to appeal convictions under the doctrine of joint enterprise, and (in 2021/22) are establishing a new partnership with Black Protest Legal Support.
Additionally, we have contacts in the wider legal community, including with Old Bailey Solicitors, and Bishop and Light.

Find out more on our Criminal Justice Law Clinic page

The Criminal Justice Law Clinic is led by Lucy Welsh.

Migration Law Clinic

The Migration Law Clinic offer migration and asylum legal advice, which is facilitated and researched by students within the Law School, under the supervision of academics and legal practitioners supporting the Clinic. The Migration Law Clinic offers 30-minute initial interviews at Sussex Law School, based at the University of Sussex campus, aimed at gathering the relevant facts. After that, where appropriate, clients will receive a letter of advice. Free parking is available.

Environmental Law Clinic

The Environmental Justice Law Clinic offers free legal advice to members of the community on a wide array of environmental law matters and undertakes environmental law research projects.

The Environmental Justice Law Clinic is supervised by two Sussex Law School lecturers – Dr Bonnie Holligan and Dr Joanna Smallwood – who teach and research environmental law, and Dr Joanna Smallwood practiced as a solicitor in civil litigation cases.

The Environmental Justice Law Clinic works in partnership with the Environmental law Foundation 

Areas we offer advice:
Protecting ecology and amenity in planned housing developments
Addressing environmental concerns in the planning system
Environmental noise cases
Access to environmental information
Air Quality cases

Leads: Jo Smallwoood and Bonnie Holligan

Performing Arts Law Clinic

Free legal advice is provided to charities in the entertainment/arts sector, including household names such as Glyndebourne and Garsington Opera. Our students, in conjunction with both academic staff and a seasoned practitioner, Chris Walter (Covington & Burling) advise on a range of business-related issues, from safeguarding, equal opportunities and privacy, to charities governance, employment law and commercial contracts.

Leads: Jo Wilson, Christopher Walter, Jessica Shurson and Ioannis Katsaroumpas 

Sports Law Clinic

The Sports Law Clinic, working in collaboration with UK Coaching, is the very first of its kind to provide free legal advice to sports coaches throughout the UK. At the same time, the Clinic aims to provide opportunities for students at the University of Sussex to develop and improve their practical legal skills. Our students, in conjunction with academic staff and experienced sports law practitioners will advise coaches on a range of legal issues.

Areas on which we offer advice:

  • Civil and criminal law disputes e.g., claims of negligence/breach of duty of care
  • Safeguarding
  • Employment law
  • Commercial contracts and intellectual property law
  • Charities governance
  • Disputes with national sports organisations

The Sports Law Clinic is led by: Dr Neil Partington, Dr Maria Mercedes Frabboni and Mr Salvatore Fasciana.

The StreetLaw Clinic

The StreetLaw clinic is new for 2023/24, following a successful pilot, and provides interactive community legal education, to charities, schools and other organisations.

The clinic is supervised by Jeanette Ashton, who convenes Equity and Trusts 2 and teaches contract law. Outside of her role at Sussex, Jeanette is a trustee of local domestic abuse charity RISE, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges charities face, particularly in such difficult economic times.

To find out more please visit StreetLaw Clinic

Further Information

Should you wish to find out more about this Clinic, please feel free to contact  Jeanette Ashton:

Wills, Trusts and Estates

The Wills, Trusts and Estates Clinic offers free legal advice to members of the public, on a range of associated matters. 

The Clinic is supervised by one of our Law School academics, Fiona Clements, who convenes and teaches under- and post-graduate Equity & Trusts and Law of Succession amongst other modules.  It is supported by a Solicitor based in East Sussex, who is recognised as a ‘Solicitor for the Elderly’. 

We offer advice in the following areas;

  • Issues with Wills, Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney
  • Will Trusts
  • Trust Administration
  • Post death arrangements

The Clinic is supervised by Fiona Clements

Get involved

Charity collaboration

If you represent a local charity or organisation and want to form links with Sussex Clinical Legal Education or find out more, get in touch with Lucy Welsh


If you are a Sussex law student, you can volunteer for the Clinical Legal Education projects and take a Clinical Legal Education module in your final year.

Law firm collaboration

If you are a solicitor or barrister in practice and would like to volunteer as a legal advisor for any of the Sussex Clinical Legal Education projects, get in touch at

Clinical Legal Education Student Blog

Visit the Sussex Clinical Legal Education blog here