UoB Law students are offering free legal representation to bereaved families

The program aims to help those who cannot afford legal representation


A group of UoB law students have started offering free legal representation to grieving families who cannot cover legal costs on their own.

Legal Aid currently grants funding for inquests but only in "exceptional circumstances", leaving many families without answers over a loved one's death.

UoB law student Sumayyah Malna has said the initiative aims to "plug the gap in the legal market", helping those in grief.

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Sumayyah told the BBC that while the law clinic is aimed at local Bristolians, they are currently taking cases from further away as it is "an under-utilised resource".

When asked what the aim of the scheme was, she said "Most of the time when I attended an inquest the family were not legally represented. You could often see them struggling with the process.

"Perhaps they could have done with some sort of guidance in terms of where to go with questioning and where the coroner was going to lead the inquest, for instance.”

This scheme comes at a time when half a million fewer claims for legal aid are being processed each year since 2011-12, according to figures from December 2018.