On 12 February 2019, the Instituto de Salud Mental de la Abogacía – Mental Health Institute of Legal Professions (ISMA-MHILP) joined the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) Legal Clinic as a collaborating entity.

“The Legal Clinic is a solidarity initiative of service-learning promoted by the Faculty of Law of the Pompeu Fabra University. The Clinic aims to make available to vulnerable people or groups the legal research of the UPF and the professional experience of prestigious lawyers, always free of charge.

The UPF model is structured on two levels. On the one hand, the Clinic provides a basic legal orientation service to people without resources who come, either directly or through a member NGO. Some instances of exceptional academic and social interest are admitted to a second level (tutored matters) in which the Clinic creates a work team made up of a doctor of law professor, three students in the final year of the Degree in Law and a lawyer expert in the subject who will assume the pro bono defense (free of charge)”.

The Legal Clinic is not a law firm, and the UPF does not institutionally provide any professional service of legal advice or defense in Courts. Lawyers who collaborate with the Clinic do so on an individual basis and under their responsibility, including those who are now part-time UPF professors”.

It should be noted that the adhesion of ISMA-MHILP as a collaborating entity to the Legal Clinic of the UPF does not imply any obligation for both parties. An adhered entity is “one that is interested in following the activities of the Clinic and wants to express its commitment to the defense of human rights and social justice.” Any initiative of this nature is therefore welcomed and supported by ISMA-MHILP.

Tomás Gabriel García Micó, vice-president of ISMA-MHILP and responsible for the section “Attention to citizenship” of the Clinic, stressed that “collaboration with the Pompeu Fabra University Legal Clinic is a great honor for ISMA-MHILP and constitutes a significant turning point for our activity as it will allow the necessary -and so often forgotten- symbiosis between the world of mental health -where multiple litigious issues are generated that, due to lack of means or resources, cannot be defended before the ordinary courts- and the academic and legal world. We hope that the collaboration between the Legal Clinic of the UPF and the ISMA-MHILP constitutes the beginning of an intense relationship of collaboration between both institutions. We would like to personally thank Professor Maurici Pérez Simeón, Director of the Legal Clinic, for the possibility he has offered us and congratulate him and the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Anna Caballé Martorell, for having promoted such a necessary initiative”.

For her part, Gabriela Boldó Prats, member of the ISMA-MHILP Well-Being Committee and responsible for the “Ethical and normative compliance” section of the Clinic, has said that “ISMA-MHILP and the Legal Clinic of the UPF collaborate to give visibility to a social, transversal and committed right where welfare and social needs count. We work together to improve these aspects of our reality. In this way, we will contribute to the mental health of the legal profession from another perspective. It has been proven that dedicating part of our effort to solidarity causes helps emotional well-being, so let’s transfer it to the university legal world”.