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UEL Legal Advice Centre and leading law firm to support people with autism

Autism students concentrating

Free legal service is based at the Autism Hub in Romford, Essex

A free legal service for people with autism is getting an infusion of energy thanks to a new partnership between law firm Duncan Lewis Solicitors and the University of East London’s (UEL) Legal Advice Centre. 

Solicitors from the firm will join the University’s solicitors and law students to offer time and expertise at the Romford Autism Hub in Essex, run by autism charity the Sycamore Trust UK.

The free legal advice service was founded earlier this year as a collaboration between the Legal Advice Centre and the Sycamore Trust UK. 

Mrs Emine Mehmet, Family and Child Care Director at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said, “Duncan Lewis Solicitors is delighted to be a part of the Autism Hub Legal Advice Clinic, and we look forward to working in collaboration with UEL on this.

Mrs Mehmet, who received the Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award at the 6th annual Family Law Awards in 2016, continued, “Our sessions will help those who may not otherwise be able to access justice through legal advice. We are excited to be a part of what is a worthwhile project.” 

Established in 1998, Duncan Lewis Solicitors has 750 staff across 52 offices in the UK. In 2009, Duncan Lewis was the first law firm in the UK to achieve the Investors in People Gold Quality Standard Mark, which is an internationally recognised accreditation which defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well.

UEL’s Legal Advice Centre is led by Ms Nicola Antoniou (pictured centre), a solicitor-advocate and law lecturer at the University.

Ms Antoniou said, “I am delighted that Duncan Lewis Solicitors is able to assist UEL’s new outreach to people with autism. This means that the service is able offer more advice sessions to the Romford Autism Hub with this extra support. 

“It also allows our student volunteers to the opportunity to shadow and learn from experienced solicitors at Duncan Lewis. We are able to give back to the community, while providing our students real-life exposure to how solicitors give legal advice.” 

The Legal Advice Centre, based at UEL’s Stratford campus, provides free legal advice and support to local clients. Established in 2010, it is staffed by two solicitors and trained law students. Famed solicitor Imran Khan and Labour life peer Baroness Margaret Theresa Prosser are among the centre’s patrons.

Find out more about the UEL law department here