Pro Bono Week: Supporting young cancer patients and their families
Press release issued: 6 November 2019
As part of our Pro Bono Week series we talked to LLB Law student, Ayushi Angresh, about her role in the Law Clinic's partnership with CLIC Sargent that helped her #DoMoreWithLaw
Tell us about your work with CLIC Sargent
CLIC Sargent is a charity that is aimed at helping people who have been recently been diagnosed with cancer, young children from the age of zero until 25 and their main aim is to mitigate the effects cancer has beyond just the health impact. So basically, helping support families with a recent diagnosis. They have a number of different programs, one of which we help them run which is legal aid drop-in sessions. So, we run weekly drop-in sessions with CLIC Sargent where we sit in Sam's house and wait for clients to come to us, even if it's just a question and not a case. Sometimes people come in and they just want to know what the law is around a certain area or what their next steps can be and I find it really beneficial to be able to give people these answers, because as I said before law is often inaccessible and it's really hard to find and with the last thing a person needs when they're already in a tough situation is to have legal issues on top of that.
On top of answering questions and the drop-in sessions you also take on referrals and cases from all of our outreach projects including CLIC Sargent.
What have you learned working with CLIC Sargent?
A personal side to this is that with the work that we're doing at the clinic we’re really meeting people where they are, especially with the outreach work and often where they are is in an emotional or an emotionally vulnerable state. A really important part of what I've learnt from the clinic and the benefits that I've taken from that, is really just being able to connect with the client on a human level connect with families who've recently had a cancer diagnosis
Being able to offer people personal emotional support while also remaining professional has been a really important part of what I've learned about the clinic and has been a really important experience for me going forward.
What attracted you to the Law Clinic?
I applied in my first year and it was really just a case of trying to get out there to see different parts of the law school that I thought would be beneficial or that I would enjoy. I really agreed with the ethos of the Law Clinic, so bringing Justice to people who would not otherwise be able to access it. I think sometimes lawyers and judges and barristers are the sort of people who sit behind these big walls of inaccessibility. Bringing legal aid and legal assistance to people where they are and a more human touch to the law was something that I was interested in exploring.
What made you decide to come to Bristol?
So, what stood out to me about Bristol was not just the clinic and the pro bono work, that was a large part of it, but it was also the great research aspect of the degree and we have a lot of really great opportunities for legal research.
I think working at the clinic and volunteering at the clinic shows of more practical side to the law. So, I think they go hand in hand. It's really great to do the theoretical and do the academic side of the law as well but then you often find yourself being detached from the law. You don't see the real-world implications it has and working at the clinic is really giving me the opportunity to see the effect that law has on people in their day-to-day lives.
What do you do at the Clinic?
I'm one of the incoming outreach managers for this year at the Law Clinic and it's a role where we partner up with pro bono organisations and we run drop-in sessions and take on clients from these organisations. So, it's more bringing a further pro bono aspect to the law clinic. So not just people who come to the law clinic with a case, but also answering questions that people have when they're already beneficiaries of the other organisations.
Pro Bono Week is an annual occasion to recognise and celebrate the valuable voluntary contributions of lawyers giving free legal aid to those in need. Find out how you can #DoMoreWithLaw