Top Patent Attorney Firm Is Latest To Join UWE’s Business Advice Clinic

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The next blog post in our series on Pro-bono. Written by Marcus Keppel-Palmer:

Leading Patent and Trade Mark firm, EIP has signed up to be mentors for UWE’s pro bono initiative the Business Advice Clinic. Attorneys from EIP’s office in Bath will assist UWE students working in the Business Advice Clinic and UWE IP supervisor Gill Ford. The Business Advice Clinic provides advice to start-up businesses across a range of legal and business topics, such as businesses based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the LaunchSpace incubator and the Network for Creative Industries.

Students take the lead in researching and presenting advice, whilst the mentors and supervisors provide support and ensure the advice is reflective of current practice. Gill Ford said: “IP is very important to start-up businesses and the Business Advice Clinic has received a range of queries from those involving confidential information to patent applications. Students value the opportunity to put their classroom knowledge to real world use.”

Matt Lawman from EIP said: “EIP is delighted to be joining UWE’s Business Advice Clinic initiative. Intellectual Property is widely misunderstood, yet is an essential consideration for many start-up businesses.  And, it is often true that the time when a business needs the advice the most is in the early stage when they can afford it the least.  So, the service provided by The Business Advice Clinic will prove invaluable for many business. EIP specialises in helping start-ups formulate an IP strategy and we love seeing clients use their IP to prosper and grow. We very much look forward to working with Marcus, Gill and the UWE students!”

EIP is an award-winning firm with offices in the UK, US and Germany giving specialist IP advice on patents, trademarks, designs and copyright. In 2018 EIP was named “UK Patent and Trademark Attorney Firm of the Year for Patent Litigation”.  Marcus Keppel-Palmer, Director of the Business Advice Clinic, said: “We are delighted to welcome EIP as a mentor to the UWE Business Advice Clinic. We are very grateful for the time and assistance the firm is prepared to commit on a pro bono basis to the Clinic and to the students. We look forward to increasing opportunities with a prestigious international firm.”

Pro Bono works: Network For Creative Enterprise

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The second blog in our series on Pro Bono: 

The Business Advice Clinic, one of UWE’s Pro Bono initiative, has been providing legal assistance to the members of the Network for Creative Enterprise over the past academic year. The NFCE is a collaboration between the Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio, Knowle West Media Centre, Spike Island, and The Guild based in Bath. UWE is also a partner in the Network. In each of the centres, residents have the opportunity to join the NFCE to receive a mixture of support to turn their ideas into economically sustainable businesses, including free work space and a package of business development support. As part of that support, residents from the hubs are able to make appointments with Business Advice Clinic students, supervised by Marcus Keppel-Palmer, Director of Pro Bono.

Marcus said: “the businesses at NFCE are those working in the creative and cultural arena, often at the very outset of their business life, and so many of the questions are around intellectual property protection, putting together terms and conditions of business, and data protection, although we have been asked about all kinds of matters, including regulations affecting drones!”. Clinics have been held at the Watershed, Spike Island and Knowle West Media Centre with plans to venture over to Bath underway. Each client has a one-hour appointment with students taking instructions, undertaking any research and providing assistance as a follow-up.

One of the students on the team, Lucie Wickens said: “these regular drop-in sessions at Spike Island, Watershed, The Guild and Knowle West Media Centre have provided students with excellent exposure of working with clients, and has assisted in the development of start-up businesses (many of which are UWE graduates) across Bristol and Bath. The work I have undertaken on the Business Advice Clinic, through the Network for Creative Enterprise has been invaluable as a discussion point in interviews, and in building my confidence of working with clients.”

Nearly 20 of the residents have so far taken advantage of the sessions. These residents have reported that the advice and the access to advice has been invaluable. One resident said: “Thank you so much for all the support and advice from you and your team. The conversations and the draft contracts you have drawn up have been an invaluable contribution to our development. Without this free service offered through the Network for Creative Enterprise we would have struggled to access let alone pay for legal advice and support of this kind.”

Rachael Burton, one of the NFCE Producers based at the Pervasive Media Studio, said: “It’s been great to work with Bristol Business and Law School at UWE through the legal advice clinics run by Marcus and his students. Having access to free legal advice in a familiar setting has been really valuable to the artists and small creative businesses we are supporting through Network for Creative Enterprise. We look forward to developing this ongoing relationship.”

 

Pro bono works

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In a series of blog posts Associate Head of Pro Bono, Marcus Keppel-Palmer will be sharing with us why Pro Bono at UWE Bristol works. In this first post Marcus shares research shared at the UWE Learning & Teaching Conference about the similarities between Law students and Journalism students:

Pro Bono gives students an opportunity to develop their professional identity as lawyers, allowing them to develop skills, confidence, ethics and professionalism outside the classroom.  I explored this at the UWE Learning & Teaching Conference jointly with Sally Reardon (UWE Journalism), who also found that journalists form their professional identity away from the gaze and strictures of assessment.

Students come to University with pre-formed views as to what Journalism and Lawyering is, views that are mainly formed by media images, often casting these characters as the hero of the story. Typical depictions of lawyers and lawyering can be found in To Kill A Mockingbird, The Rainmaker, and other John Grisham stories, whilst crusading journalists are depicted in films such as All The Presidents Men and The Post.

However, when they start to study, students are shocked that the reality of study is at odds with these romanticised images. Sally and I argued that students needed to see these professions in the round, creating an individual professional identity, and through that a coherent learning community. Professional Identity is the more than simply ethics and professionalism; it is the way a lawyer understands his or her role relative to all of the stakeholders in the legal system, including clients, courts, opposing parties and counsel, the firm and the legal system or society as a whole. Journalists of course play a valuable role within the courts too, but of course have a wider set of stakeholders and wider social impact to engage with.

In order to develop professional identity, students need opportunities to experience the complex interlay of professional behaviours, skills, ethics, and the relationships, whilst using their doctrinal knowledge. For law students and journalists that often requires participation in extra-curricular activities. Sally spoke about the Global News Relay, an annual event whereby UWE journalists collaborate with students from other countries around the world to compile a snapshot news programme across time zones and continents in one day. I spoke of the professional identity law students forge through participation in various strands of pro bono, such as the welfare benefits advice service, the Business Advice Clinic, and the Bristol Music Advice Service.

To find out more about the pro bono offering at UWE Bristol please see here.

Free seminar: Community asset transfers: legal and practical issues

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The UWE Bristol Pro Bono Unit, in conjunction with The Old Library, will be holding a free seminar on Thursday 19 April from 6pm for anyone who would like to find out more about the legal and practical side of community asset transfer.

A Community Asset Transfer involves a charity or not-for-profit organisation taking a lease or licence of council owned premises to run and manage those premises.

The purpose is to generate social, economic or environmental benefits for local people.  Examples include community centres, libraries and playgrounds.

If you’d like more information or to register please see here.

IPO Develops New Tools For Universities

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Marcus Keppel-Palmer, the Associate Head for the Faculty of Business and Law for Pro Bono, was one of the panel members working with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) developing a new range of Intellectual Property (IP) resources for use in Schools, Universities, and businesses.

The new suite of resources aim to develop a greater understanding on on IP with students and how IP impacts on their future careers.

The resources known as IP Tutor Plus were launched on January 9th 2018.

IP Tutor and IP Tutor Plus

The IP Tutor tools, developed by the IPO, CIPA, CiTMA, lecturers and industry professionals, provides information on IP.

IP Tutor Plus is a resource for university lecturers to deliver IP lectures. There are four modules; creative, humanities, STEM and law, business and accounting subject areas.

IP for Research

Created for PhD students and researchers to develop a greater understanding of how IP can maximise the impact of their research.

IP management tools

The Intellectual Asset Management Guide for Universities and Lambert Toolkit support the setting of IP strategies within universities, and the management of effective collaborations between universities and businesses.

Resources for further education

Before students reach university, the Future Innovators Toolkit provides level 3 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers with the resources they need to introduce IP at any point in the curriculum.

More details can be found here.

Bristol Law School 2017 Round Up

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As 2017 comes to a close we want to share with you some of our highlights from the past year:

Back in January we launched our new Research Centres and groups.

In February, we helped alumnus Jeremiah Daliel’s launch his first book, inspired by his real life experiences.

Back in March, our Pro Bono team helped young entrepreneurs to open a new recording studio.

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Our pro bono team helping young entrepreneurs

Also in March we hosted a Distinguished Professorial Address with Professor Michael Dougan titled “The UK outwith the EU and the EU without the UK’”

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Professor Michael Dougan gives a Distinguished Professorial Address

In April, we moved into our new £55 million building  which is now home to the Bristol Law School and the Bristol Business School.

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The Bristol Business School, home to the Bristol Law School and Bristol Business School

We invited our alumni to be some of the first to visit the building at a networking event in May.

In May we also shared news of a successful year for the Bristol Law School and Bristol Business Pro Bono Business Advice Clinic.

One of our Bristol Law School alumni was elected Sheriff of the City and Corporation of London in July.

Tim Hailes
Tim Hailes, Sheriff of the City and Corporation of London

Over the summer we shared news that UWE Bristol had a third rise in student satisfaction and that we moved three places up the Times Good University Guide.

Also over the summer, Dr Zainab Kahn visited Amman, Jordan to work with partnership institutions to engage international students in postgraduate roles here at UWE.

Amman Jordan trip
Dr Zainab Kahn in Jordan

In October, a Bristol Law School student won Student of the Year at the Bristol Law Society Awards. The LiP Service team, made up of Bristol Law School, University of Law and University of Bristol students won team of the year.

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Winners at the Bristol Law Society Awards

In November, as part of national pro bono week, we shared a roundup of all the great work pro bono work we do at the Bristol Law School.

Also in November, Financial Crime expert, Professor Nic Ryder provided a commentary on the Paradise Papers.

To see more of our highlights from 2017 visit our blog. Roll on 2018!

National Pro Bono Week

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Author: Marcus Keppel-Palmer, Associate Head of Department, Pro Bono 

This week is National Pro Bono week running from 6th to 10th November.

This is the 16th annual National Pro Bono Week and is sponsored by the Law Society, Bar Council and CILEx. The aim of the week is to celebrate the breadth and impact of pro bono work undertaken by the legal profession across the year, and to encourage further involvement and development.

National Pro Bono Week is an annual week to recognise the contribution lawyers make, free-of-charge, to many people and organisations in need of legal advice who otherwise would not be able to afford it. UWE’s Pro Bono Unit provides students with opportunities to develop and practice skills associated with their knowledge and studies, across a spectrum from giving legal assistance at the Bristol Civil Justice Centre, preparing Wills and advice on private client matters, advising start-up businesses, advising musicians, filmmakers and animators, to welfare benefits advice with a range of partners.

For Bristol and the Bristol Pro Bono Network (of which UWE is a proud part), the showcase is being held on Monday evening at DAC Beachcroft’s offices. This event is a connecting event with lawyers and pro bono organisations reaching out to each other. HHJ Wildblood will be giving a key talk, followed by a panel about Pro Bono. UWE is being represented by Lindsay Walker and Tish Whitehurst-Goda from its African Prisons Project.

Additionally, during the week UWE students will be running sessions in local schools on the topic of social media and the law. This is part of a national link with the Citizenship Foundation. Farha Chowdhury, Tasmina Juthi and Dan Bell are leading interactive sessions with key stage 4 pupils, alerting them to some of the legal issues around use and misuse of social media.

The Business Advice Clinic has linked up with the Network for Creative Enterprise, based at the Watershed, and this coming week will see students Henry Rees, Matthew Cornforth, Ryan Small and Gabriel Carrera-Mendez providing advice on a range of topics to the start-up businesses in the Network.

Of course, UWE’s pro bono activities will be continuing during the week as normal. This includes the LIP Service (Litigants in Person Service) recognised as Team of the Year at the Bristol Law Society Awards.

 For more information on Pro Bono activities at UWE please see here.

Bristol Law School success at the Bristol Law Society Awards

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Bristol Law School had great successes at the annual Bristol Law Society Awards with a UWE student winning Student of the Year and the LiP Service team winning Team of the Year.

Brooke Lewis (LLB) won Student of the Year from a shortlist made entirely of UWE Bristol students. This is the first time the shortlist was made up of all UWE Bristol students. This is a spectacular achievement and speaks volumes for the standard of our students.

The LiP Service team which is part of the Pro-bono unit at the Bristol Law School won Team of the Year the awards.

The LiP Service team was founded after Lawyers from Bristol University, University of Law and UWE Bristol realised they were replicating work by all chasing the same aim. The LiP Service tries to explain the loss of Legal Aid and general access to justice; which has led to many people not understanding the legal justice process and reluctant to access it alone. The service assists litigants in person with orientation around the Bristol Civil Justice Centre and with information about how to conduct their cases.

The District Judge, Stephanie Cope, who supports the project is a UWE alumnus and involves the local Judiciary and Ministry of Justice staff in supporting the project.

The collaboration between Bristol Law School staff and students, and those from Bristol University and the University of Law is a shining example of a collaborative network between educational institutions, voluntary organisations and the Law Centres in Bristol.

Additionally, the Lawyer of Year award went to Bristol Law School alumnus Samantha Castle who studied her LPC at UWE Bristol in 2004.

Congratulations to all who won and were nominated at the awards!

 

 

 

 

 

Pro Bono work at the Bristol Law School

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Original post taken from the Research, Business and Innovation blog .

Author: Jeremy Allen 

Whilst at UWE Bristol, students studying within the Bristol Law School and Bristol Business School have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of projects from supporting local residents in dealing with community issues to providing free legal advice and assistance to members of the public.

UWE’s Pro Bono work has also helped communities in Uganda and the United States, as well as making a large impact on communities and businesses in the Bristol region.

Undergrad and postgrad students provide all manner of unpaid assistance to businesses, and individuals who have limited access to legal help.

Associate Head of Department – Pro Bono and Law Lecturer Marcus Keppel Palmer commented:

“In this day and age, with the lack of governmental help, Universities who can assist are expected to do so. We have a repository of knowledge, expertise, and students who are keen to acquire experience.”

The numerous voluntary activities, which are led and developed by the students themselves, include the following:

Courts

Offered to individuals with no legal representation, the Law Court Clinics involve Bar students providing on-the-spot assistance to those with no prior knowledge of court proceedings. For two days a week, the postgraduates provide the service alongside a charity at the Bristol Civil Justice Centre. In the same vein, LIP Service (referring to ‘litigants in person’), which UWE Bristol is a part of, raises awareness for those representing themselves, in advance of their hearing. Undergraduates offer training on what to expect in court, what defendants can and cannot ask/do during proceedings, and how to present a case.

Welfare/ Benefits support

In collaboration with a number of charities and organisations, student volunteers help individuals with the wording in their claims forms to maximise success in receiving or retaining benefits. Legal advice is also provided if an appeal is required,  following an unsuccessful claim.

“If your disability benefits are cut, then you can’t afford a lawyer to challenge that, let alone access legal aid because it’s been cut in this area,”

Marcus Keppel Palmer

This work on appeal claims yields almost 100% successful.

Mentoring and Street Law

With a view to helping school pupils learn more about studying Law, first year students from the Law department provide mentoring at schools and colleges in the Bristol area. Pupils can also attend mock trials held at the Bristol Business School’s court rooms.

“This Pro Bono activity provides UWE students with additional skills such as public speaking or team work,” says Keppel-Palmer.

Private clients – Elder Law

Teaming up with charities such as Paul’s Place, undergraduate students from Bristol Business School’s law department offer assistance on matters concerning wills, probate and power of attorney.

Businesses

The business school’s Business Advice Clinics involves students providing basic one-to-one accountancy, marketing and legal support for graduate start-ups in Launch Space, UWE Bristol’s graduate incubation space. One accountancy and four law firms assist with this activity.

“This provides top quality advice to the Launch Space incubators and, for students, networking opportunities with the firms,” says Keppel-Palmer.

Pro Bono business activities also extend to helping musicians get a foothold in the music industry, where legal knowledge carries weight. BMAS is a system of clinics and one-to-ones run by law students who meet with budding musicians and other creatives from all over the world. The free legal service includes advice on publishing deals, contracts etc.

Crime

Pro Bono work has also enabled volunteers to work with countries in East Africa. With a focus on Kenya and Uganda, the African Prisons Project encourages prisoners to study Law to understand their legal rights. The service enables inmates to be in a stronger position to challenge their cases.

The Anti Death-Penalty Group is aimed at students interested in crime and criminology. This activity enables them to raise awareness about death row by working with a law firm in Virginia (US), where undergraduates can also attend a five-week summer placement. Some have worked on cases involving Guantanamo Bay.

“They often come back transformed after meeting death row inmates,” says Keppel-Palmer.

Community Asset Transfer

Closer to home, postgraduate law students offer free legal assistance in projects involving the takeover of public assets by charities. These are long-running projects and the University usually takes on one a year.

“All these activities provide incalculable benefits for students,” says Keppel-Palmer. “Many find themselves more confident and find that they get jobs out of them. There are also massive amounts of good will generated through the work that is done and that makes people feel good in themselves.”

To find out more about the Pro Bono work that takes place within the Bristol Law School and Bristol Business School please contact Marcus Keppel Palmer :Marcus.Keppel-Palmer@uwe.ac.uk

Awards nominations for the LiP Service team from the Pro Bono Unit at Bristol Law School and three Bristol Law School students

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The LiP Service team which is part of the Pro-bono unit at the Bristol Law School has been nominated for Team of the Year at the Bristol Law Society Awards. In addition to that, three Bristol Law School students have been nominated for student of the year.

The LiP Service team was founded after Lawyers from Bristol University, University of Law and UWE Bristol realised they were replicating work by all chasing the same aim. The LiP Service tries to explain the loss of Legal Aid and general access to justice; which has led to many people not understanding the legal justice process and reluctant to access it alone. The service assists litigants in person with orientation around the Bristol Civil Justice Centre and with information about how to conduct their cases.

The District Judge, Stephanie Cope, who supports the project is a UWE alumnus and involves the local Judiciary and Ministry of Justice staff in supporting the project.

The collaboration between Bristol Law School staff and students, and those from Bristol University and the University of Law is a shining example of a collaborative network between educational institutions, voluntary organisations and the Law Centres in Bristol. This is a great example of Universities and the Courts coming together to benefit the local community. The teams’ hard work has not gone unnoticed and they have been shortlisted for the Team of the Year in the Bristol Law Society Annual Awards.

There are also three students from Bristol Law School that have been shortlisted for the Law Student of the Year Award. This is the first time no student from University of Law, BPP or Bristol University have made the shortlist. This is a spectacular achievement and speaks volumes for the standard of our students.

The three students are:

  • Rachel Chapman (BPTC)
  • Brooke Lewis (LLB)
  • Tish Weavor – Marron (LLB)

The awards will be announced on the 19th October at a Gala dinner. Congratulations to Rachel, Brooke, Tish and the LiP Service team on this great achievement.