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Adviceline Volunteer in the Legal Team

Since 2002 the Howard League has provided the only legal service dedicated to representing children and young people in custody under the age of 21. Our legal team has a small number of solicitors and caseworkers and, with thousands of children and young people in prison in England and Wales, we receive a huge number of enquiries and requests for advice and assistance.

We are in need of volunteers interested in gaining experience in a prison law environment, to assist with our Adviceline Service. Volunteer support is invaluable to us, and makes a very real difference in enabling children and young people in prison to access legal information and to defend their legal rights.

Main purpose of the role

Volunteers will conduct legal research and draft responses to queries from prisoners and members of the public regarding a wide variety of prison and public law issues, as directed by the legal caseworkers or senior solicitors. Most often these queries relate to the following areas:

  • Prison regime and treatment
  • Parole and early release
  • Criminal appeals
  • Adjudications and disciplinary matters
  • Resettlement and community care
  • Rights under the Human Rights Act/European Convention on Human Rights

Volunteer duties also include associated basic admin work such as photocopying, filing and using the case management system.

Person specification

We are looking for enthusiastic and self-motivated people with an interest in criminal justice and the voluntary sector. Successful applicants will have excellent written and oral communication skills, good organisational skills and attention to detail, an ability to deal with confidential and sensitive issues with discretion and care, enjoy working in a team and be computer literate. Ideally they will have experience in advice provision services and/or using a legal case management system.

This role is well suited for current or recent law students seeking to gain more experience of legal work, or for experienced lawyers wanting to use their skills and experience to help prisoners.


This is a voluntary post based at the Howard League for Penal Reform’s office, 1 Ardleigh Road, London N1 4HS.

Training will be provided.

Volunteers are expected to commit to 1-3 days a week for a minimum period of three months. The Howard League does not pay its volunteers but does cover lunch expenses (up to £5 a day) and travel expenses (up to the value of a zone 1-6). 

As this role is situated within the legal team which works with children and vulnerable adults, the successful candidate will be DBS checked at the expense of the Howard League and the position will be offered on completion of the DBS check and the return of references.

To apply

Please e-mail your CV and covering letter to or post it to:

Claire Salama
The Howard League for Penal Reform
1 Ardleigh Road
London N1 4HS

Closing date: Monday 30 October 2017

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