Volunteer programme

Volunteers play an important role in assisting the solicitors with various aspects of their casework in asylum and human rights law.

How to apply to volunteer with the department

The department recruits volunteers twice per year, usually around April and October.  Completed applications should be submitted by the deadline, which is advertised in advance. We do not accept applications outside the recruitment periods

Volunteering duties 
 
Duties are varied but include:

  • Objective evidence research – including the compilation of country background profiles, research into specific aspects of a client’s case, and sourcing required experts and agencies
  • Legal research – including ad hoc research into aspects of immigration and asylum law, case law research and case summaries
  • Case preparation assistance – including the compilation of court bundles, drafting correspondence, and where appropriate, attendance at the First Tier Tribunal or Court of Session
  • Carrying out administrative tasks
Qualities and/or skills required
  • An interest, or experience in the area of asylum, refugee and human rights law
  • Strong legal and general research skills
  • Good administrative and organisational skills
  • Effective communication and listening skills  
  • An understanding of the importance of confidentiality
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Reliability, punctuality and a commitment to the work of the department. 
Time commitment and location 
  • We ask that volunteers commit to one full day per week for at least a six month period
  • Volunteering takes place in our Renfrew Street offices, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • Volunteering may be made up of two half days   

Selection process

  • Shortlisting
    All applications submitted by the deadline are reviewed to determine who will be shortlisted. 
  • Interview
    If your application is shortlisted we will invite you to an informal interview with a solicitor from the department.  At the interview you will have an opportunity to expand on any relevant skills and experience you have and also ask any questions.  The interview will last around 20 minutes.   
  • Induction
    If you are successful at interview we will invite you to the volunteer induction.  To be able to volunteer with the department you must be able to attend the volunteer induction.  We will provide dates for volunteer induction in advance.

    The volunteer induction covers an introduction to LSA and the Women and Young Persons` Department, office practices, key polices, and a basic overview of the current immigration and asylum landscape.

    Volunteers will arrange suitable weekly volunteering days after the induction.  Volunteering will start the week following the induction.
Benefits 

Volunteers receive:
  • A unique insight into the day-to-day work of a busy human rights-focused legal department
  • An opportunity to develop knowledge of aspects of asylum and human rights law and practice through assisting solicitors with their work in this area
  • Experience of working in a legal office environment and an understanding of the administrative procedures associated with this
  • £4.50 per day lunch expenses, and reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses
  • On-going training and development within the department
  • Free attendance at LSA seminars

Click here to find out when we are next recruiting. 

Celia Goovaerts describes her experience with the Women and Children`s Department.