A former law student who graduated this month has set up a business guiding litigants in person through the court process.

Tiffany Ratcliffe (pictured), 21, set up Support Through Court while she was studying at Keele University.

After volunteering at her local court and for charities, she came up with the idea to provide a service for those unable to afford representation.

‘People aren’t sure where to go when they first walk through the door or even what to wear or how to address the judge,’ she said. ‘A lot of people also need help after the hearing to understand what’s happened.’ Ratcliffe offers the service for a fixed fee agreed in advance. Two one-to-one meetings, assistance with statements, production of the court bundle and attendance at a half-day hearing and typed notes would cost around £500.

Ratcliffe started the business with money saved from her part-time job as a ski instructor and wants to follow it as an alternative career path to the traditional legal profession.

She is also into the final stage of a competition run by Lloyds bank looking for social entrepreneurs who have started businesses that are useful to their local community.