Getting legal advice in Malta is about to get a whole lot cheaper. Maltese law students are going to be offering advice to anyone who can’t afford to play legal fees in the form of a legal clinic, the Times of Malta reported.
The legal clinic, which will be run by the University of Malta and the Chamber of Advocates, promises to not only offer anyone who cannot pay for legal services a helping hand, but also act as a a hands-on experience to legal students.
Dr. David Zammit, the head of the Department of Civil Law, explained how “this is a new way of teaching law, where the lecturer isn’t there to simply give a lecture and the students take notes.” Dr. Zammit said the concept follows the American university system, where such clinics are very popular.
Chamber of Advocates secretary Dr. Stefan Camilleri elaborated on this point, saying “it’s not a case having students blurt out advice to clients without any guidance. That would defeat the purpose, as we want to provide the most professional experience to all involved.”
Dr. Stefan Camilleri and Dr. David Zammit. Photo by Matthew Mirabelli
“This project truly upholds our motto of bridging the gap between the academia and the legal profession,” said the Junior Chamber of Advocates, who were involved in the discussion and the setting up of the law clinic.
The 2016/2017 Junior Chamber of Advocates executive team
Dr. Camilleri went on to explain how the legal clinic will kick off. “Only vulnerable people can benefit from the free services. We started off by targeting Cottonera, as we identified a need for such a service there, but if it takes off, we are open to setting up elsewhere.” The clinic is in fact currently dealing with cases referred to it by NGOs like the Jesuit Refugee Service and Victim Support Malta.
The official launch of the law clinic is taking place on the 3rd of May at San Anton Palace.