Greece has received the largest number of refugees entering Europe since the migrant crisis began and its legal community, already hit by years of austerity, has struggled to cope. Refugee Legal Support – Athens is the response of a few experienced UK immigration lawyers to that crisis, using our legal skills on the ground to help refugees arriving in Europe. Now we are looking for other practitioners to help.
RLS has been running since April 2017. Over the last year we have set up and run a pro bono law clinic for refugees in Athens. We offer free legal support to refugees on immigration and protection issues, including their asylum applications and family reunion claims. We recently won the Lexis Nexis Pro Bono Award 2018.
The pro bono clinic operates on a rota of UK volunteer lawyers who work together with our project coordinators and other volunteers in Athens. This allows the UK legal community to directly contribute their expertise where it is most needed. In the first year of operating we’ve been lucky enough to have dozens of brilliant volunteers donating hundreds of hours of their time to make a meaningful difference in our clients’ lives. Some of our volunteers’ accounts have appeared on Free Movement and in Counsel magazine.
We are currently recruiting volunteers for our Athens-based law clinic during the period 21 May – 30 September 2018. We are looking for experienced immigration practitioners who have a good understanding of asylum, including the EU Common Asylum System, and who are able to offer a minimum of three weeks in Athens. Priority will be given to volunteers who can offer a longer period of time.
The project provides free accommodation in Athens, although volunteers are asked to cover the rest of their expenses. Volunteers work with our small permanent team providing in-person advice and assistance to refugees; therefore experience in working with vulnerable people is highly desirable.
All work is undertaken in English and we are assisted in our work by interpreters from the Greek refugee community.
RLS: Athens is an inspiring and eye-opening place to work. We are looking for team players who care as much as we do about providing high-quality legal assistance to those in need.
You can find more information about our work, our volunteer criteria and how to apply on our website: https://www.refugeelegalsupport.org/volunteer.
Can’t volunteer? Then please consider donating to our work.