Essex Law Clinic

Our team

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Essex Law Clinic Staff

Meet the team behind the successful Essex Law Clinic

Our team members are made up of academics and students. Our academics have extensive knowledge and experience in the legal profession and are best placed to lead the clinic and oversee the high-level training our students both receive and deliver to the local community.

Clinic Core Team

Professor Donald Nicolson

Director

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Awarded an OBE in 2011 for his services to the legal profession, Donald became Director of the Essex Law Clinic in 2017 after founding both the University of Bristol Law Clinic and the multi award winning University of Strathclyde Law Clinic. Donald sat on the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee and was a founding Director of LawWorks Scotland, and is still a Trustee of the Clinical Legal Education Organisation.

 Elizabeth Fisher-Frank

Deputy-Director

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Liz's interests include social welfare law, family law, care proceedings and children’s rights. She set up and managed projects aimed at improving access to justice for vulnerable young people, particularly those in care, in both a local law firm and national charities. She is a member of The Law Society’s specialist Family Law Committee which considers law and policy on a national basis, and is a former member of its Children Law Sub Committee and Children Panel. Liz has campaigned on access to justice issues, particularly around children and young people.

 Lucy Davies

Lecturer

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Lucy’s interests are in social welfare law, focussing on housing law and issues relating to homelessness. She brings practical experience in legal aid housing law provision, welfare benefits, and debt advice from her previous work with Shelter and Citizens Advice. She balances her work at the Law Clinic with her role as the Housing Legal Aid Supervisor at Suffolk Law Centre, the sole legal aid housing provider across Suffolk and North Essex. Within the Law Clinic, she supervises advice, public legal education, and the homelessness and housing project and runs a weekly advice outreach at a homeless support centre in Colchester.

Dr Olayinka Lewis

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Olayinka worked as Academic Director of The Law Clinic at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. There, he implemented the expansion of the Law Clinic’s clientele, advice provision, and volunteer numbers. ‘Yinka previously worked as a solicitor for a number of years within the UK and abroad in various areas of law including petroleum law, commercial law, civil litigation, and immigration and asylum law. He has interests and expertise in immigration and asylum law and is passionate to provide immigration advice and training.

Dr Osita Mba

Supervisor

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Osita joined the Law Clinic as Supervisor in September 2022. He is a Barrister and Solicitor in Nigeria and a Solicitor Advocate in England and Wales, where he holds a current practising certificate. He is also a Chartered Tax Adviser and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in the UK. Osita has practised law in Nigeria and in England and Wales at various times since 2000 and has many years’ experience in various areas of law including tax law, welfare benefits law, employment law, administrative law, and human rights law. He was a lawyer for His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) from 2007 to 2013. In 2014, he was awarded the Middlesex University UK Whistleblowing Award for “exposing a tax settlement between HMRC and Goldman Sachs.” Osita is very passionate about social justice, access to justice, and public legal education.

 Benjamin O'Connell

Student Director

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Ben spent his first year with the clinic in 2020/21 on the Innocence Project before joining the Homeless & Housing, Jaywick Uni, Social Care collaboration projects as well as taking on the Deputy Student Director role in 2021/22. His experience has ignited a commitment to furthering access to justice when he goes on to pursue a career at the Bar, with a particular interest in working through collaborative social welfare projects.

Abby Creelman

Deputy Student Director

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Abby is a third-year LLB Law Student. Before joining Essex, Abby has been a part of the Law Clinic since October 2020 and has spent the duration as a caseworker, handling issues such as housing and familial disputes. Abby has experienced some of these challenges in her personal life and she is committed to helping individuals and families who find themselves in similar situations. She is passionate about advocating for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and assisting them in access to justice.

Amelia Formoy

Deputy Student Director

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Amelia is a third year undergraduate LLB Law student. Amelia joined the Clinic in her first year of university. She trained in mediation and is now a student legal advisor. She loves being part of the Clinic and taking on a variety of cases, as it enables her to learn about a multitude of different legal issues and understand different areas of law. Amelia recognises the significant impact the Clinic has for the community due to the lack of legal help available, and after graduating, would like to be a solicitor and continue to work alongside the community providing access to justice.

Dr Michele Stephens

Law Clinic Administrator

Essex Law Clinic, University of Essex

Michele Stephens holds a PhD in Latin American History from the University of Oklahoma and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex. Michele has taught Latin American and Native American history at the university level for more than a decade and is looking forward to working with Law students and faculty in a different capacity. She is especially interested in learning more about England’s legal system and the needs of the Essex community, particularly in matters relating to women’s access to justice.

Essex Law Clinic Group Members
Where it all began

From it's launch in 2008, the Clinic's objectives are to enhance access to justice while providing students with experience in putting their legal knowledge into practice, learning legal skills and developing ethical awareness. In 2022, this remains a fundamental objective of the Essex Law Clinic.

Read the article
Essex Law Clinic students
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