The PSU’s incredible service is only possible because of the time, dedication and varied experience of life that volunteers bring to bear when helping our clients.
Attending court alone is daunting. Those we support are usually unable to access any formal legal help, yet need to be able to present their own case clearly and without emotion – often facing professional barristers in court. At a time of great stress, this can seem an insurmountable task.
Our volunteers provide both reassurance and guidance, so that our clients have the very best chance of engaging with the courts in a dignified away.
Volunteers support clients by:
“The PSU service is simple but effective. I’ve seen first-hand the difference a PSU volunteer makes. Trained volunteers taking the time to listen to and support the client’s individual needs has a real impact on the life of the client” – Lord Thomas, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
In return, PSU volunteers receive:
“As a volunteer with the PSU, I have seen a number of cases when the client left the office in tears of joy, because they knew there was help available to them.”
We welcome all applicants with relevant skills, experience and time.
Legal knowledge is not necessary, although some familiarity with the legal environment is helpful.
If you can spare at least two days per month volunteering in one of our locations, then we would like to hear from you. To apply, please complete an online expression of interest. The relevant PSU will send you further details and a comprehensive application form.
Please contact your local PSU manager if you need a reasonable adjustment for a disability or significant health problem.
If you are currently, or have recently been, involved in court proceedings, this could affect your application. Please contact the local PSU Manager to discuss the situation.
We will ask for and check references, including information on any criminal record and suitability ti work with vulnerable people.
For individuals wanting more information, or universities interested in student volunteering opportunities, please contact your local PSU.
Maybe you have some specific skills you could offer us. We need volunteers to support our small staff team in areas such as IT, fundraising, and general administrative work. Please contact your Local PSU to discuss how you can support us.
'PSU is a great addition to my studies because of its practical nature. Every week I am able to either attend court hearings or help clients with forms and help build their confidence in the process. PSU has improved my people skills; I now feel confident to talk to any client that comes in which is a great addition to my skill set for employers to see.'
'PSU has shown me what it means to be a good lawyer, and how much of a difference you can make just standing beside someone going through some of the toughest moments of their life; be it a family related breakdown, employment dispute, or eviction hearing, just to name a few... Applying to volunteer with PSU was one of the greatest decisions I ever made during the course of my degree, and the only thing I regret is having not signed up sooner'
‘Volunteering with the PSU in Sheffield helped to bridge the gap between law on paper and law in practice. Had I not have taken advantage of this fantastic opportunity, I would have completed my distance learning having never sat in front of a client witnessing the reality of working in the legal sector.’
'Being a PSU volunteer really does give you first-hand experience of being inside a family court as well as an insight into some of the extremely difficult situations some people have found themselves in and are having to deal with as litigants in person.'