The Legal Advice Centre (University House) is one of the oldest legal advice agencies in London and was the first one to be established in Bethnal Green.
It was founded in 1941 under the umbrella of the University House Settlement in London’s East End. The Settlement provided a number of clubs and services in an attempt to fill gaps in public social services and to relieve distress in the immediate neighbourhood.
The Legal Advice Centre was always considered a traditional part of the Settlement, providing for those in need within and beyond the Borough’s boundaries. It began as a part-time centre, originally to advise on war-damage claims, managing donations and small change left in Poor Boxes in courts. By the end of the war it was open full-time to meet the demand for general legal advice. When the work of the University House Settlement ceased in 1979 the Centre became an independent charity.
Today the Centre, based in Roman Road, is contacted by up to 5,000 people each year. The diversity of the clients seen reflects the profile of the diverse community in which the Centre operates. Help provided ranges from writing letters to arranging representation.
The advice provided is by telephone, during drop-in sessions and through an appointments system. We also operate an extensive outreach project at Bow Haven. We are affiliated to Advice (UK) and our Thursday evening drop-in session is also an approved Law Works advice clinic.