Pro Bono Story

FRU student volunteer wins £25,000 for client in employment claim: Anita’s story

Anita's story

It is not only seasoned lawyers who can take on pro bono cases. Law students are keen to help vulnerable clients and gain valuable legal experience by volunteering and being supervised by qualified lawyers.

One organisation that makes this possible is the Free Representation Unit (FRU). As a student adviser volunteering with the FRU through the Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre, Anita* took on a case of unfair dismissal and breach of contract for her client, Sam*. Sam’s employer had gone into voluntary liquidation, but the Employment Tribunal had stayed the proceedings, mistakenly thinking that the liquidation had been compulsory.

Sam was stuck with no legal remedy until, thanks to persuasive legal submissions prepared by Anita under the supervision of Mathew Game, the Supervising Solicitor in the Centre, the stay of proceedings was lifted by the Employment Tribunal, and the client was awarded a life-changing sum of over £25,000.

The outcome of this case was a success for both client and student: without Anita’s help, Sam would have struggled with the sheer complexity of the legal process involved. For Anita, the case not only provided practical legal and advocacy experience, but also the invaluable opportunity to witness first-hand the difference student pro bono help can make to someone’s life.

*Names have been changed to protect anonymity

The Free Representation Unit provides free employment and social security representation to the public through supervised law students in London and Nottingham. To volunteer, visit

Law students can volunteer with the Nottingham Law School Legal Advice centre: