The University of Law has become the first academic institution to be granted permission to provide legal services.

ULaw (UK) Limited, trading as the University of Law was granted an alternative business structure yesterday by the SRA, effective immediately.

The licence allows the entity to undertake rights of audience, litigation, reserved instrument activities and administration of oaths.

The licence will mean the expansion of the university’s Legal Advice Clinic, where trainee solicitors provide legal advice on a pro-bono basis to members of the public in various areas of social welfare law, supervised by experienced solicitors.

The clinic, operated at the university’s London Bloomsbury Centre, gives trainees first-hand experience of dispute resolution and the chance to prepare them for the realities of practising law.

John Latham, president and chief executive of ULaw, said: ‘Being the first university to be granted an ABS status means that we can provide trainees and our law firm and in-house clients with a market-leading proposition that will equip the trainees for the legal and commercial challenges they will face in today’s workplace.

‘Being able to provide practical experiences in a client-facing environment is a fundamental part of the training needed for aspiring solicitors.’

Solicitor Emma Douglas, who manages the trainee litigation programme for the university, is named as head of legal practice.

The University of Law, formerly the College of Law, operates from eight locations in seven cities across England.

Earlier this month it established a one-year foundation programme for international students wishing to progress to undergraduate study.

Earlier this month, Nottingham Trent University claimed to be the first academic institution to apply for an ABS licence, which would be used to give students a better idea of how to run a legal practice.