The Access to Justice Foundation | The Legal Education Foundation
Start date

July 2023
End date

March 2025

Family Duty Scheme in Coventry 

Since August 2023 the Law Centre's family team has been attending Coventry court every Monday to run the duty scheme in the family court for first hearing dispute resolutions. This has been enabled by part of the funding received from the Access To Justice Foundation to run the Improving Outcomes Through Legal Support project, to improve the speed and the ability of clients to achieve justice. 

During this time the team has come across a significant number of people who we consider to be unprepared, for example not having their paperwork with them and not understanding what is likely to happen 

In the first six months of the project, the scheme supported more than 60 people, all of whom would otherwise have proceeded as litigants in person with no specialist legal advice.

There are usually 12 cases listed on Monday across two magistrate's courts. Each have four cases in the morning and two listed in the afternoon, meaning that if none of the people were represented then its’s possible 24 people might be unrepresented and so looking for the duty solicitor

Expert Triage and Early Support for Disadvantaged Women

Building on five years work with Foleshill Women’s Trust, Haven Women’s Aid, CRASAC and Kairos Women Together in the Coventry Women’s Partnership the Law Centre provides expert triage and early support for disadvantaged women across the city in family and social welfare law.  

 This work includes:

  • Co-locating specialist advisors within partner organisations providing services to women on a rotating basis, providing advice clinics within drop in’s, attending coffee mornings etc. 

  • Running legal health checks to identify interlinked legal issues. 

  • Providing initial advice, signposting and producing self-help.

  • Supporting clients with form filling and advocacy to help early resolution of legal issues. 

  • Referrals to specialist legal teams within the Law Centre for stage 2 advice.