BUDDING legal eagles are gaining valuable hands-on experience after a solicitor teamed up with a college.
Law students at Hartlepool Sixth Form College are getting an insight into real life court cases after the creation of its own on-site law centre started by lawyer Philp Bradley.
The college is the only known one in the country to have such a facility.
Mr Bradley, who helps to teach Sunderland University’s Foundation Law Degree at the college, came up with the idea to better prepare students for a career in law.
He said: “It means they can cross over from the corridor into the law centre and put their learning into practice. It is giving practical hands-on experience that they would not get anywhere else. It is a very simple idea but has far reaching effects.
“It is still in its early days and we are building it up, but it has been a great success so far.”
Under Philip’s supervision, students get to help prepare civil cases, such as personal injury claims, and can take instructions from clients.
Law student Craig Feeney, 20, said: “A lot of law firms won’t take anyone without experience.
“The fact that you can get it while still studying really puts us in good stead compared to anywhere else.”
Sophie Hitchen, 19, who is also studying the foundation law degree, is looking forward to getting involved with the centre.
“I think it will be very useful as it’s very hard to get on without experience,” she said.
Also working on the initiative is Adam Porteous, 20, a former plasterer turned trainee solicitor.
Acting college principal, Carole Horseman, said: “We are delighted that our degree students are being offered this opportunity to work on real cases.
“This type of Law Clinic is only available at universities to give students the edge when it comes to finding employment. Our students are benefitting from working with a solicitor who is supervising the work they do.
“Philip Bradley, who is a well-established solicitor on Teesside, has been contributing to the teaching on our Law Degree this year and has offered this unique opportunity to our students.”
The Philp Bradley Law Centre is open for appointments from 4pm-7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or can be contacted weekdays during normal office hours through the college.