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.
We believe in using the legal process to fight inequality, poverty, discrimination and injustice. Our Real People Real Lives leaflet gives examples of the work we 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 our 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.
We currently specialise in the following areas of law: Community Care, Discrimination, Employment, Family, Housing, Immigration and Asylum, Money and Debt, Public Law and Welfare Benefits. We do not act for landlords, companies or employers. We regularly seek to review the work that we do to ensure that our 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 our community. We therefore seek to use our knowledge, experience and skills in a variety of ways to meet our core objective of combating social exclusion. We take on test cases that may have an impact well beyond the actual case fought, we produce self help leaflets to ensure that individuals are able to make informed decisions and we lobby and campaign for changes to the law where we think that current or proposed changes are not just. We take 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. Our 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. We have a management committee of Trustees and we maintain a membership which links us with the community we serve and reflects the diversity within our communities.
We are a part of the Law Centres Federation, which is a federation of over 50 Law Centres across the UK. We are 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 our client's guarantee of quality assured services: we have been independently inspected to ensure that both the running of the Law Centre and its advice delivery is of a consistently high standard.
We are grateful for the support of Coventry City Council, our main funder, and for the support of the Legal Aid Agency with whom we are contracted to provide publicly funded legal advice. We also wish to acknowledge the many other funders and donors to Coventry Law Centre. If you are interested in sponsoring this website please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find details of how to contact the Law Centre on our contact details page.