25th May 2017

NCLS Celebrates Return of UEA Law Student Volunteer as qualified Solicitor

Norfolk Community Law Service (NCLS) is celebrating the success of its volunteering scheme as former volunteer and UEA Law student Naomi Newell returns as a qualified solicitor to give legal advice for free.

Judi Lincoln, NCLS Advice & Volunteer Manager, said ‘We are delighted that Naomi’s volunteering experience with NCLS has contributed to her successful qualification as a solicitor and  are very pleased to welcome her back to advise the increasing numbers of clients seeking help.

Naomi, a qualified Dispute Resolution Solicitor with Norwich firm Cozens Hardy Solicitors, volunteered with NCLS throughout her 4 years as a student at UEA.  

Naomi said ‘It is more important now than ever before that the legal profession does its bit for charities that provide much-needed free legal advice to the local community. I was fortunate enough to be involved with the volunteer scheme at NCLS when I was an undergraduate Law student at the UEA and I am thrilled to work for Cozens-Hardy LLP, which also supports NCLS. It was a very proud moment for me to sign my NCLS application form to enter onto the rota as a qualified solicitor after having started my degree in 2010 and I very much look forward to contributing, along with the other solicitors, to helping our local community.

NCLS hopes that Naomi’s application will be the first of a number of student volunteers who will return as successfully qualified solicitors.

 23rd April 2017

Running in Support of Access to Justice

One of our wonderful volunteers, Chris Moore, ran the London Marathon on 23rd April in support of NCLS.

Of his reasons for running in aid of us Chris said "Having access to justice is of high importance at a time when Legal Aid is very difficult to get. I know that NCLS's work is hugely supported by volunteers without who they would not be able to provide the advice and representation that they do. It’s good to know that the money raised will be going to directly support these services rather than being eaten up by high running costs."

 Chris completed the marathon in 3hours and 44minutes, and so far has raised £440 for NCLS. Thank you Chris and well done!

2nd March 2017

NCLS featured in the Solictors Journal

Our CEO, Ros Brown, talks in the Solicitors Journal about the challenges bought about by cuts to Legal Aid and how NCLS is working to fil the gaps left by these cuts. The article also features ISCRE, who provide our Discrimination Advice Service.  

The article can be found here.

10th December 2015

NCLS mentioned in the House of Lords

The work of NCLS in providing free legal advice was mentioned by Lord Howarth of Newport (Lab) in his Motion to take Note of the Cuts to Legal Aid. Whilst highlighting the problems that the cuts are bringing Lord Howarth said 'Organisations such as the Norfolk Community Law Service are fighting back, for example by providing work experience for law students in their free legal advice services. But voluntary and pro bono work is no substitute for legal aid'.

It is great that the hard and valuable work of NCLS and its volunteers is being recognised during the period of change bought on by the transformation of Legal Aid.

A full transript of the Motion can be found here.  

26 February 2015

The Norfolk Community Law Service Welfare Benefits team is delighted to announce that December 2014 saw the Welfare Benefits service reach the impressive £1,000,000 milestone, in terms of income generated for our clients by overturning negative benefit decisions.

Since it was established in October 2012, the Welfare Benefits service has advised 1,082 clients about their social security appeals and has represented 214 clients before the First-tier Tribunal. We have also helped many more clients achieve favourable outcomes without the need to go all the way to a tribunal.

The service has made great use of the innovative partnership arrangement with the University of East Anglia’s Law School, which enables students from the UEA Law Clinic to volunteer for NCLS in various roles. The Welfare Benefits team trains students to represent clients at tribunals, with others trained in an administrative support role to work alongside our paid advisors.

The team is looking forwards to a busy and successful 2015. We are happy to receive referrals from other agencies, via the Norfolk Community Advice Network partnership, and directly from clients for advice regarding their social security appeals.

10 December 2014

NCLS has submitted a response to the Social Security Advisory Committee's consultation regarding the Government's proposal to change the rules relating to repeat claims of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Please click here for more information. Our submission can be downloaded here.  


16 September 2014

Briefing to advice agencies on the Minimum Earnings Threshold (MET) for EEA Nationals

Norfolk Community Law Service has produced a practice note on the Minimum Earnings Threshold for EEA Nationals.

8 July 2014 

LawWorks Pro Bono Awards: NCLS/UEA Partnership wins prestigious national prize

Norfolk Community Law Service (NCLS) and the University of East Anglia have won the LawWorks Best Partnership in Pro Bono Award in recognition of the contribution of the UEA Law Students to the work of NCLS. The award was presented at a ceremony at the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln's Inn Fields last night.  

The partnership between NCLS and UEA, which has been operating for many years but was consolidated into a formal partnership agreement in 2012, has been hugely successful. Without the commitment and hard work of all the students we would not have been able to develop our service provision to anything like its current level nor to help the ever increasing number of clients we do – in the financial year 2013/14 we helped 2,108 clients, a 23.3% increase on the previous year.

The students provide support for all NCLS services and of particular note is the work of the Student Advocacy Team who provide representation for clients at welfare benefits tribunals enabling them to access benefits they are entitled to. There is a lot of evidence to show that a client has a much greater chance of success if they are represented at the tribunal hearing. Since this service was established about 18 months ago, the Team has represented over 160 clients, securing over £500,000 of benefit payments.   

A big thanks and congratulations go to all the UEA law students who have been involved in developing the partnership over the last few years - their contribution and commitment to the work of NCLS has been outstanding.

2 April 2014

NCLS's Advocacy Team were proud to receive the runner-up Best Team Contribution prize at the Attorney-General Pro Bono Student Awards last night. The team was represented at the ceremony, hosted in the House of Commons, by Sam Willis, Abby Powell and Joe Ferris, who received their certificate on behalf of the team from the Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve QC MP.

24 March 2014

NCLS are recruiting new volunteers from UEA Law School. Prospective applicants can now download the induction packthe timescale for applications and the application form. ** Please note that the application period has now closed **

7 January 2014

NCLS has submitted a response to the independent review of Job Seeker's Allowance sanctions. This is being conducted by Matthew Oakley on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions: please click here for more information. This can be downloaded here.  


Big Lottery Fund Norwich City Council Broadland Communities Advice Quality Standard
Money Advice Service South Norfolk Norwich Consolidated Charities University of East Anglia