Coventry Law Centre is a charity employing Solicitors and paralegals to offer free legal advice and representation in the areas of Community Care
, Immigration and Asylum
, Money and Debt
, Public Law
, and Welfare Benefits
to the people of Coventry.
Coventry Law Centre was set up in 1976 to provide free legal advice and representation to people facing disadvantage in Coventry. The Law Centre has changed significantly over the years since then to ensure that it remains best able to meet the needs of clients. It has previously been known as the Benefits Shop and CLIRS, but has been called Coventry Law Centre since the mid 1990s.
Coventry Law Centre believes in using the legal process to fight inequality, poverty, discrimination and injustice. The Real People Real Lives
leaflet gives examples of the work they do in the Coventry area.
The Law Centre concentrates on its role as a specialist provider of advice, representation and advocacy. The increasing complexity of law and increasing inequality in the society since the 1970s has meant that access to legal remedies has remained as relevant today as it was at the start. Recent research shows a strong link between economic and social regeneration, health inequalities, and the pattern of experience of legal problems.Giving individuals and communities the capacity and power to take action to defend their rights is the sign of an inclusive society. Coventry Law Centre seeks to empower local people by promoting legal solutions to many of the problems they face.
Coventry Law Centre currently specialises in the following areas of law: Community Care, Discrimination, Employment, Family, Housing, Immigration and Asylum, Money and Debt, Public Law and Welfare Benefits. Coventry Law Centre does not act for landlords, companies or employers. They regularly seek to review the work that they do to ensure that the service remains relevant.
The Law Centre believes that it is important to challenge the way that law affects the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community. They therefore seek to use the knowledge, experience and skills in a variety of ways to meet the core objective of combating social exclusion. They take on test cases that may have an impact well beyond the actual case fought, they produce self help leaflets to ensure that individuals are able to make informed decisions and they lobby and campaign for changes to the law where they think that current or proposed changes are not just. Coventry Law Centre takes on around 1000 cases each year and have secured tens of millions of pounds for clients in arrears of benefits, additions to income, and compensation over the years. Their work also includes advice and representation which cannot be given a monetary value, such as preventing evictions, advising about immigration and asylum matters and combatting discrimination.
The Law Centre is an independent charity, a company limited by guarantee. Coventry Law Centre has a management committee of Trustees and they maintain a membership which links us with the community they serve and reflects the diversity within the communities.
Coventry Law Centre is a part of the Law Centres Federation
, which is a federation of over 50 Law Centres across the UK. Coventry Law Centre is also part of a UK Network
of information, advice and specialist advisors who are publicly funded to give legal advice. Coventry Law Centre holds the Legal Aid Agency's Quality Mark at the specialist level. This is the client's guarantee of quality assured services: they have been independently inspected to ensure that both the running of the Law Centre and its advice delivery is of a consistently high standard.