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Moving towards a client-centred approach to legal advice: exploring empowerment in a University hosted interdisciplinary student run clinic

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This paper applies the notion of empowerment to clients seeking legal advice. We advocate for the adoption of a different approach to client care in the legal setting modelled on that adopted in the UK by the NHS in healthcare. We argue that moving towards a client-centred approach to legal advice giving provides a possible solution to the lack of public funding for legal advice.

This article explores the use of qualitative research approaches - widely used in health research to understand the perspective of patients - in the legal arena. Specifically, it will consider how qualitative research can be used to seek out and understand clients’ viewpoints and particularly to explore how people can be empowered to make sense of their health and wellbeing, when informed by legal and health advice. It will also consider how the findings of such research can be used to inform and develop legal and clinical practice, with a view to improving clients’ wellbeing and establishing a different holistic approach to client care.

The University of Portsmouth will host an interdisciplinary (Law and Nursing) student clinic, with the aim of providing educational opportunities together with legal and health advice to some of the most vulnerable people in the local community. The innovative research programme that will run in tandem with the clinic will explore the relationship between motivation, well-being and empowerment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Clinical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2019

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