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The Adviser's Toolkit: giving legal advice


 Author: Elaine Heslop

 Edition: First (October 2007) 384pp

 Pb 978 1 903307 49 6

The Adviser's Toolkit: giving legal advice is a unique new guide to the core skills and processes of giving legal advice. It pulls together established models of good practice for advising clients and conducting cases and draws directly on the new National Occupational Standards in Legal Advice.


'A best practice guide for advisers .... It contains detailed information about all stages of the advice-giving process and an overview of the legal processes and system.' Independent Adviser

The basic principles of giving advice and devising tactics for resolving clients' problems are explained in a highly practical way. Key areas of social welfare law are covered in detail and each topic is clearly illustrated through the use of case studies, flow-charts and sample letters.

Contents include guidance on:

- studying, qualifying and working as an adviser;
- taking instructions, identifying needs and possible outcomes; 
- strategies for dealing with vulnerable clients;
- interview skills;
- confidentiality, impartiality and independence;
- case management;
- supervision and being supervised;
- negotiating and alternative dispute resolution;
- knowing your networks;
- legal research - understanding case and statute law;
- funding for legal advice.

The Adviser's Toolkit: giving legal advice will be invaluable to those working in the voluntary and public advice-giving sectors that provide information and support to individuals seeking help with securing their rights. This book also aims to support the many people outside the legal field who without any formal training are nevertheless in the course of their jobs giving advice which is invaluable to their clients or customers.

Sample chapter (pdf: 183Kb)


Elaine Heslop is a freelance legal trainer and a tutor of practical casework skills within Kent Law Clinic at the University of Canterbury. She regularly lectures and trains for a number of organisations including Legal Action Group, CLT and CIPD and has taught on the Legal Practice Course and the Bar Vocational Course. Elaine practised as a solicitor at Islington Law Centre® for a number of years. She then became its Legal Director. She also works with the law department at London Metropolitan University where she is currently developing a foundation degree in advice and paralegal. Elaine is co-author of Employment Tribunals: a practical guide (2004, 2nd edition due 2007) and contributed to Discrimination in Employment: Law and Practice (2006) - both Law Society publications.