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 pack, the 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.