University teams up with firm of solicitors to offer free family law advice sessions

5 Feb 2024
Five people in business attire, three men two women, in front of flinty wall

The University of Winchester has teamed up with a firm of local solicitors to offer free legal advice sessions. 

The pre-booked face-to-face sessions will start in February 2024 and will focus on Family Law. 

The University’s Faculty of Law Crime and Justice is partnering with the Winchester office of Dutton Gregory LLP Solicitors to offer this free service. 

In addition, the University has become a full member of the national solicitors pro bono charity, LawWorks, which provides guidance and support to free law clinics. 

Issues covered in the advice sessions will include: 

Dean of the Faculty, Bill Davies, said: “Free legal work is often described as ‘pro bono’ which is a shorted form of the Latin phrase pro bono publico, which means ‘for the public good’. One of the University’s core purposes is to serve the common good and we hope this new project will provide much needed help for the people who use it. We are very grateful to Jon Whettingsteel and his colleagues at Dutton Gregory for being so supportive in getting the project started.” 

Jonathan Whettingsteel, who heads the Family Law department at Dutton Gregory, added:“We are delighted to be working with the University of Winchester on this new project. Issues dealt with in Family Law affect so many people and this offer of a free advice session will be a valuable lifeline for many who may not be eligible for legal aid but cannot afford to pay lawyers’ fees.”  

All legal advice will be provided free by qualified lawyers. Trained law students will be on hand to assist, learn and observe. 

Senior Lecturer in Law, Stephen Hurley, who helped set up the project, said: “This is a very exciting new initiative for the Law Department. We have had an excellent response from law students who have volunteered to be part of the Legal Advice Centre. All students have been fully trained on relevant issues such as data protection, confidentiality and equality and diversity as well as professional ethics.” 

“It’s a great opportunity for the law students to gain real world experience and client contact to complement their academic learning. At the same time, they get a chance to make a difference in their local community. In future years we hope to expand the services which the Legal Advice Centre is able to offer to include other legal areas and to involve more local law firms who wish to get involved.” 

The first advice sessions are scheduled for 21 and 28 February and 6, 13 and 20 March between 4pm and 6pm and will be held face to face on the King Alfred Campus. 

Advice sessions, which will last 30-40 minutes, must be pre-booked. No drop-in facility is possible. Currently, the sessions will only provide initial oral legal advice. No representation or case work service is possible at this stage. 

To request an appointment, please visit where there is also more information about the service. 

For more information about law courses at Winchester visit

Pictured above from left: Stephen Hurley (Senior Lecturer in Law and LAC Lead), Lupin Murphy (Law Society President), Jonathan Whettingsteel (Solicitor from Dutton Gregory), Emma Nottingham (Head of Law) and Bill Davies (Dean of Law, Crime and Justice).

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