Sheffield University has opened a centre offering free legal advice to the local community, following a £150,000 refurbishment.
Bartolomé Lodge on Winter Street in Sheffield will house both the School of Law’s FreeLaw legal advice, advocacy and signposting service and the Innocence Project, which investigates alleged miscarriages of justice.
The Grade II-listed Lodge has been derelict for 15 years and its restoration was made possible by donations from former law students, corporate donors, School of Law staff and the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences.
About 100 School of Law staff and students take part in pro bono work every year and the FreeLaw programme involves students undertaking legal research on behalf of charities and providing a free legal advice drop-in centre.
The charities are given legal information which helps them find a voice and fight for the rights of their clients.
The Innocence Project, set up in October 2007, is the first of its kind in South Yorkshire.
Students can get involved in reviewing real criminal cases, which, in some cases, are referred back to the Courts.