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University law clinic offers free assistance

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Published on Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Law students at the University of Luxembourg offer free assistance to members of the public on consumer rights disputes as part of their Master studies. Members of the public can submit their case online thanks to a new platform now available.

A professional focus

The Consumer Law Clinic (“Clinique du droit”) was founded in March 2015 by Prof. Élise Poillot at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance as part of the Master in European Private Law study programme. Students assist clients of the clinic in analysing their consumer rights dispute and then recommend the next steps forward. Cases can be submitted by all members of the general public, provided they fall under Luxembourg consumer law and involve claims of less than 5,000 euros.

The project allows students to gain hands-on experience during their education by introducing them to real-life cases. In addition to undergoing thorough training in consumer law, students participating in the clinic also receive coaching in the contact with clients, adding to the practical dimension of teaching.

 

A Consumer Law Clinic session

 

The Consumer Law Clinic is carried out with the support of the Luxembourg bar association. Regulated by official statutes, students of the clinic cannot act as official legal representatives. Should individual cases reveal the need for proper legal representation, clients will be recommended to contact a lawyer, the Luxembourg consumer union (ULC) or a mediator.

Real case studies supporting citizens

A new online platform allows easy submission of cases:

                              Submit your case to the Consumer Law Clinic

The working language of the clinic is French, but cases can also be uploaded in German and English.

Interested members of the public can outline their dispute in a few steps and upload any supporting documentation. Their dossier will then be processed by a member of the clinic and forwarded to the students as a case study. If needed, the clinic will contact clients for an interview. The service is offered for free.

Prof. Poillot commented on the clinic: "The clinical program encourages team building, promotes social justice and gives confidence to students who can finally apply their theoretical legal knowledge to concrete cases. It is a great experience from a pedagogical, scientific and human perspective.”

Master in European Private Law student Ines De Cillia said about the clinic’s benefits: ““Taking part in the Consumer Law Clinic was a very rewarding experience. Through the clinic I learned not only to apply my theoretical knowledge in practice but also to manage situations with clients that were sometimes delicate and difficult. The clinic allowed me to make the link between university and professional life.”

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