Latest News

  • FRU endorsed by President of the Supreme Court
    Tue, 12/10/2019 - 16:05


    FRU’s work has been endorsed by no-less than Baroness Hale, the President of the Supreme Court. At the recent Annual Bar Council Conference Lady Hale spoke to FRU Chief Executive David Abbott. She offered to dedicate a copy of the recently published book ‘First 100 years of women in law’ to the FRU. Lady Hale signed “Well done the FRU! All good wishes Brenda Hale”. This is the latest endorsement from a senior judicial or legal figure of FRU’s service to our clients and clinical legal education for our volunteers. The signed book will be raffled to one of FRU’s volunteers, along with a further 2 unsigned copies of the same book, kindly donated by the Bar Council.

    FRU Chief Executive David Abbott commented “Unusually for a member of the judiciary Lady Hale has become a household name. We are delighted that the person at the apex of our judicial system was keen to support our work. Lady Hale is a particular inspiration to our female volunteers. The dedicated copy of ‘First 100 years’ will be something for a volunteer to treasure as they begin their legal career”.

  • Heloise and Maria speak at National Pupillage Fair
    Tue, 12/03/2019 - 12:00

    On 30 November 2019 FRU attended the Target Jobs National Pupillage Fair at Gray’s Inn. In addition to having a stand, 2 members of our team, Heloise Ramage-Hays and Maria Aisha gave a presentation. Heloise and Maria covered the history and purpose of FRU, how we work and how volunteering with FRU helps to develop career skills for aspiring lawyers. Feedback on the presentation was very good. If you are interested in our work this video of the presentation is well worth watching.

  • Representing children whose benefits have been reduced
    Mon, 12/02/2019 - 16:16

    FRU’s Christmas 2019 crowdfunding campaign has gone live. Each year our volunteers are asked to help children whose disability living allowance (a social security benefit to cover extra costs of disability) has been reduced or ended entirely. The volunteers represent clients in tribunal hearings to make sure the facts and the law are properly explained. Our clients might wait over 6 months for their hearing to take place, and these families need this money even to maintain a basic lifestyle. We win around 80% of these tribunals and we want to go on helping people to access justice.

    Our volunteers need legal support and supervision to help them to do the best job for our clients. We’re raising funds to employ our legal officers. Each officer can support hundreds of volunteers over a year. Please support our fundraising campaign this Christmas. £3000 covers the cost of a legal officer for over a month.

  • Booking reopens for training days
    Wed, 11/06/2019 - 12:18

    Good news! We have resolved our IT issues and bookings for the employment training day will open by 12.30 and social security by 2.30.

  • Important Select Committee report draws on FRU evidence
    Mon, 11/04/2019 - 14:01

    The Justice Select Committee has published a hard hitting inquiry report on HMCTS reform of the court and tribunal system. The report, which can be found at this link draws on evidence from FRU’s written submission.  In particular the report quotes our evidence on court closures and the importance of face to face hearings for our sick and disabled clients, the impact of legal aid cuts on access to justice and the availability of support for users, and the effectiveness of HMCTS communication about its reforms.

    The report called on the Ministry of Justice to evaluate the impact of court reform against the legal standard of access to justice summarised in the Legal Education Foundation’s “Digital Justice” report which FRU also contributed to. That report can be found at this link