Law charity runs free advice sessions are available as it marks national awareness week

Members of NCLS: Sara Westwood MJP Solicitors, Matthew Lord BBL Law, Sally Harris Spire Solicitors,

Members of NCLS: Sara Westwood MJP Solicitors, Matthew Lord BBL Law, Sally Harris Spire Solicitors, and Mary Wood Volunteer Receptionist. - Credit: Archant

A law charity is marking an annual awareness week by reminding the public that free advice sessions on legal matters are available.

The Norfolk Community Law Service (NCLS), which is dedicated to providing access to justice and equal-ity in the county, runs drop-in

sessions in Norwich, Cromer, and Great Yarmouth.

The charity is encouraging people to get in touch if they need advice on legal matters, and the call coincides with the start of National Pro Bono Week.

Advice can be given on a range of topics such as family and employment law, domestic abuse, and general matters.


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All the sessions are staffed by local solicitors who give up their time free of charge.

In 2015/16 the charity provided advice on 1,692 matters, and its staff say they are seeing an increasing need for pro bono services.

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Pro bono legal services are some-times seen as the only way a person can get legal assistance and representation if they cannot afford legal

aid.

National Pro Bono Week is held to recognise the contribution lawyers make free of charge to many people and organisations in need.

It celebrates the pro bono legal work which is carried out by solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives, and reflects on topics

through a series of events through-out the week.

Drop-in sessions in Norwich are held on Tuesdays and Fridays, and a similar service operates in Cromer and Great Yar mouth where pre-booked appointments are available.

Award winners

The charity was kept busy in the last financial year – giving free advice on nearly 1,700 matters to members of the public.

And this was among the reasons why it triumphed at the 2016 Norfolk and Norwich Law Society Excellence Awards in September.

The charity picked up the Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession award for its work across the county.

Judi Lincoln, NCLS advice and volunteer manager, said Norfolk is fortunate to have solicitors who are willing to work for free to help members of the public.

'We are very lucky in Norfolk to have so many lawyers giving their time for free via Norfolk Community Law Service to help people have access to justice,' she said.

'It is NCLS's aim to have all Norfolk firms represented on our volunteer rota and we would welcome new applicants to assist in the work we

do.'

She added: 'National Pro Bono week is a way of celebrating the work that goes on year round thanks to all the lawyers who support us.'

For more information on the charity call 01603 496623 or visit www.ncls.co.uk

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