In 2016, the Legal Services Consumer Panel (LSCP) reported that BAME people felt less empowered when it comes to obtaining legal advice (Hilborne, 2021). While Selita (2019) noted many people are unlikely to view existing legal salaries and fees as appropriate. Such a gap between client and lawyer can lead to discontent and miscommunication as people are represented by those who are far removed from their lived daily realities.
Centric will be working with two city lawyers who each possess extensive experience, including working at the first B Corp law firm in the UK, Bates Wells. Our aim is to explore a fresh approach for legal support for minority communities.
The Sistren Legal Collective is a sisterhood of lawyers utilising their legal knowledge as a tool to support organisation-building, both by and for minority communities in the UK.
Sistren is aware of the barriers faced by black, South Asian, immigrant and refugee communities when it comes to accessing the legal world. Plus, there’s the often daunting position facing community-based organisations when entering a domain which is highly complex, riddled with legalese terminologies and often inaccessible.
Sistren aim to redistribute legal power and knowledge so activists, change-makers, social enterprises and community-based organisations are better equipped when it comes to law. Moreover, Sistren aim to make legal advice in the context affordable for those working within communities.
Centric will be supporting Sistren to conduct research into this to scope potential recipients of Sistren’s services and to map some of the key issues organisations and leaders face when accessing legal advice.
This is an important piece of work, especially in the context of building trust with relevant actors across communities in the UK who may find both the legal approach and services offered by Sistren suitable for their activities.
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