We love to hear from our students about their experiences of volunteering! Check out Intisar’s (LLB in Laws, 2020) reflection on her time volunteering with the Citizens Advice Bureau in London. If you want to share you experience volunteering, get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be honest, when I signed up for the Citizens Advice Bureau, I thought that it would be easy legal experience. Merely something to tack onto my CV for when I began the application process. However, after volunteering for a couple of weeks, I quickly realised that it was a lot more.
The Bureau is located near my home in North West London; a low-income area where people would line for hours in the hopes of gaining free legal advice. The damaging impacts of governmental budget cuts for free legal aid were obvious. Working under the Office Manager, I formatted the legal background to each case, organised pro bono advice by City firms and prepared the Bureau’s documents to ensure that they complied with the GDPR. I contacted each client, many of whom didn’t know English and couldn’t understand the nature of my legal requests. It was disheartening to realise that the law really is an inaccessible luxury for the poor and immigrants.
Nevertheless, It was fruitful to help the team make a genuine impact; clients were overjoyed when their disputes were settled. Moreover, I was able to learn how to balance my responsibilities, operate in an office environment and work effectively in a team. Importantly, I understood how offering up a little bit of your time can make a long-lasting impact. As a result, I have continued to volunteer and look forward to working pro bono.
If Intisar has inspired you to volunteer, check out one of our other ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.