Oxford Legal Assistance

Oxford Legal Assistance is part of the University of Oxford Law Faculty, offering exclusive opportunities for undergraduate law students at the University of Oxford to become involved in pro bono legal work.  OLA has two core aims:

(a)  to encourage and create opportunities for law students at the University of Oxford to participate in supervised pro bono programmes; and

(b)  to contribute toward improving the quality of legal assistance and advice available to legally-aided clients in Oxford, and, in light of the scarcity of legal aid, those who otherwise would be unable to receive free legal advice.

Current OLA Projects

OLA operates two main projects: a legal advice clinic focussing on issues within immigration and asylum law in partnership with Turpin and Miller, a local Oxford law firm; and a year-long social policy project with the Citizens Advice Bureau. In the academic year 2013-14, OLA volunteers also worked with the national charity, Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), assisting detainees at Campsfield House Immigration Detention Centre, but, unfortunately, this project will only operate for one year due to the closure of BID’s Oxford office. This year, our graduate student volunteers are focused on assisting T & M on bail applications for immigration detainees. They have been involved in case management and performing in-depth research tasks, such as researching country conditions.

OLA is looking to gradually expand the pro bono opportunities that it offers.

OLA works with 15-20 undergraduate volunteers each year as well as a number of graduates, and the projects are always oversubscribed.

OLA’s work was recently featured in an article in the Oxford Mail. Read what OLA’s Student Chair had to say about the work the volunteers do here.

Annual OLA Moot

In addition to these pro bono schemes, OLA works with the Mooting Coordinator of the University of Oxford Law Faculty to organise an annual mooting competition. The moot problem is on a topic within immigration and asylum law, and the competition offers undergraduate and graduate students of all academic disciplines the opportunity to undertake detailed research into this fascinating area of law.

How to Get Involved

Applications for undergraduate volunteers open towards the end of Trinity Term. Participation in the OLA moot is seen as an advantageous attribute, and applications for this competition open during the Easter vacation. Further ad hoc vacancies may arise throughout the year and will be distributed via email from the Law Faculty and advertised on the OLA Facebook page.

To contact OLA, please email ola@law.ox.ac.uk.