Students Staff

19 February 2014

New Director aims to expand law clinic

A former Chair of the Association of Law Teachers has joined the University of Essex as the new Director of Essex Law Clinic.

Richard Owen, who was previously at the University of South Wales where he founded and ran their Legal and Financial Advice Clinic, is a keen advocate of innovative teaching methods.

Richard Owen, Director of Essex Law Clinic

Richard Owen

His first major challenge at Essex will be to map legal provision and advice services across Colchester to assess priority areas for future expansion of Essex’s Clinic, and identify potential pro bono partners. He will also explore the opportunities for providing immigration case advice for which legal aid has been cut significantly.

Richard, who has worked in clinical education since 2007, said: “Clinics offer a different approach to learning that complements the theory-based teaching in the classroom. You wouldn’t think of training to be a doctor purely in the classroom so why should it be any different in law.”

He added that it is usual in the US for law schools to have clinics attached, offering students the experience of working with real-life clients, but that “the UK has got some way to go. Clinical experience offers a more rounded education and at Essex the academic community has a real commitment to this.”

The Essex Law Clinic currently offers sessions once a week with a small student team, working alongside pro bono partners, offering free advice on everything from employment issues to consumer law.

Richard gained his law degree from the University of Birmingham and a Masters from the University of London before completing the Law Society Final Examination at Guildford. He has held guest lecturer positions at universities in Belgium and China and was Chair of the Association of Law Teachers until March 2013. He has also previously been a member of the Law Commission’s Wales Advisory Committee and currently sits on the Law Society’s Wales Committee.


More information
For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or email:

The Essex Law Clinic offers members of the public, students and University staff, free initial legal advice on a range of issues. Current law students, working with external pro bono solicitors, provide advice, giving them valuable and important legal practice experience. The Clinic does not undertake casework or representation of clients in legal proceedings, but is able to refer clients to other legal services which may be able to help with this.

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