The Centre for Legal Aid and Community Engagement (LACE: Which means tie-up and secure the relationships with the communities) is a dedicated student cum community-based clinic that operates under the School of Law at RV University, Bangalore, India. It was established with the objective of providing free legal services to the underprivileged and marginalized sections of society. The clinic offers a wide range of legal services, including legal aid, advice, and representation to those who cannot afford it. This includes assistance in matters related to human rights violations, domestic violence, consumer protection, and labour rights, among others. The clinic also conducts legal awareness programs, legal aid camps, and other outreach activities to promote legal literacy and awareness among the general public.
The law students are an integral part of the clinic and play an active role in providing legal services. Under the guidance of faculty members and practicing lawyers, they assist in drafting legal documents, conducting legal research, and representing clients in courts and tribunals. The clinic also provides a platform for law students to gain practical experience and develop essential legal skills. It provides them with an opportunity to work on real cases, interact with clients, and understand the practical aspects of legal practice. This exposure helps them to become competent legal professionals and socially responsible citizens. The Clinic is a vital part of the School of Law at RV University’s commitment to social justice and public service. It is an excellent example of how legal education can be used to promote social welfare and serve the community. The clinic serves as a role model for other institutions and organizations to follow in their efforts to promote legal literacy and access to justice.
The clinic plans to tie up with the local villages through a long-term collaboration with the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority and District Legal Services Authority. Such tie-ups shall in turn help the clinic in organizing legal aid and awareness camps both within and outside the premises of the University including permanent camps in the targeted villages. Students at the school of law shall be made active members of the clinic thereby providing them with a hands-on practical approach to legal education generally and clinical legal education specifically.
Legal Aid Clinic believes that ‘Law should be inclusive of the masses, inclusive of the people’. In this regard, community engagement and effective citizen participation play a vital role that our clinic seeks to promote.
Creating a Model for students and the community that promotes learning by doing by providing them a very practical approach towards the law and providing them with the best opportunities to work on the ground for building their roots.
Access: We provide vital community service and are easily accessible.
Dignity: We listen and treat our community members and colleagues with compassion, empathy, and respect.
Community: We take a grassroots-level approach to lift up our neighbours in need.
Inclusion: We believe in fundamental equality and welcome everyone who needs our assistance.
Partnership: We value our collaborative relationships with other social service organizations, as well as law firms, corporations, and law schools.
The centre engages in various activities to achieve its objectives, including:
Patron in Chief and Mentor Professor – Prof. (Dr.) Y.S.R. Murthy
Faculty Coordinator – Ms. Yukti Kumar
Advisory Board – Prof. Ajay Pandey, Prof. M.R.K. Prasad, and Dr. Kalpesh L. Gupta