South West London Law Centres (London) – Asylum and Immigration internship


SWLLC is a community based, Legal Aid practice and a registered Charity. Our history dates back
to 1974 when the first Law Centres in Wandsworth were created. We became SWLLC in 2004
through the merger of a number of Law Centres in South West London. We now work across six
boroughs, Croydon, Merton, Kingston, Richmond and Sutton and Wandsworth, helping people
accessing, understanding and enforcing their legal rights. SWLLC helps over 8,000 people per
year.

Our award winning Immigration and Asylum team is resuming its internship programme offering
the opportunity for an enthusiast and committed volunteer to provide paralegal support to both
asylum and immigration clients and the solicitors and caseworkers within the Asylum and
Immigration team for a six-month part time placement.

The program will run from March to August and October to March each year Please see below
for details of how to apply.

Because of the nature of the role, the ideal candidate will need to show a solid understanding
of the work undertaken by our colleagues.

Work will include dealing with traumatic materials from extremely vulnerable clients who are
victims of torture, slavery, trafficking. The volunteer may be asked to review materials such as
scar reports, medical reports and statements with disturbing events happened to clients. As such,
it is necessary that the candidate is aware of the work undertaken by our Legal Aid solicitor and
is desirable that the candidate can show some level of previous experience working alongside a
similar setting, supporting colleagues working with sensitive information.

Please note that full training and supervision will be given and support around your wellbeing
will be provided by the charity, if necessary

If you are seeking a career in Law and have an interest in Asylum and Immigration matters/
interest in working and supporting Asylum seekers / Immigrants/ Human Rights, this role will
provide you with invaluable experience and insight into the problem faced by this group of
communities.

Overall responsibility:
You will be supporting a number of solicitors and senior caseworkers in relation to all aspects of
research and admin. The ideal candidate will play a full role in the organisation supporting
colleagues to maximise their effectiveness. You may be asked to participate to staff meeting
from time to time.

General tasks you may be asked to carry out :

  1. Legal research
  2. Analysis of Asylum Statements, Country reports, Witness statements
  3. Creation of Asylum Statements
  4. Writing attendance notes
  5. Assisting with booking clients and interpreters to the service
  6. General administrative tasks such as filing, archiving, scanning, photocopying,
    binding of files.

Personal attributes

  1. Working towards a legal qualification (LLB, GDL, LPC/ BPTC , ILEx/CILEx or equivalent);
  2. Some equivalent experience in a role where you have been supporting a team and
    colleagues to help achieve targets;
  3. Commitment to equal opportunities as set out in the principles and policies of South
    West London Law Centres.
  4. An intelligent and highly motivated person who is accustomed to taking significant
    decisions and having a high level of personal accountability.
  5. Ability to work independently with a proven ability to prioritise work and to meet
    deadlines.
  6. Excellent communication skills: you must be able to relate well to colleagues, clients and
    third parties, in person, in writing and on the telephone, despite the pressures of the
    role.
  7. Understanding of the problems which face diverse communities.
  8. Ability to use computer and information technology including management information
    systems and to be self servicing. Must be proficient in Microsoft operating systems
    (Word, Excel, and Office).
  9. Ability to work collaboratively within SWLLC

Professional development
In this role, you will gain an invaluable insight into the day to day activities involved in Asylum and
Immigration work. You will develop your research and drafting skills as well as having the
opportunity to gain some client facing experience with the support of our expert team. To support
your professional growth you will have access to internal training provided by SWLLC as well as
other ad hoc training and events provided by external organisations.
You will also benefit from a structured placement with active supervision and an end of placement
evaluation so that you can review your learning from the placement. However note, that because
of the sensitive nature of the work carried out by our Asylum and Immigration team and the
ongoing support and training provided during the placement, only candidates who can show they
can commit for the full length of the placement (6 months) will be considered.
Inability to attend on a regular basis and to complete the internship will have a negative effect on
future reference requests provided by the law centre.

Commitment
We are seeking someone who can commit 2 to 3 full days a week for at least 6 months
Location
This role will require attendance at our Croydon office, although sometimes the volunteer will
be able to work from home- Attendance will be agreed upon with supervising solicitor.
Remuneration
While this is a voluntary, unpaid position, we can reimburse your reasonable expenses for up to
£20 per working day, when asked to attend and volunteer from the office.
Start date
We are seeking someone who can start in March 2024
Application process
Please apply by sending your CV and a covering letter to volunteers@swllc.org by COB on 18
February 2024.