Pro bono work is most commonly associated with legal work undertaken at no cost by lawyers. This can include giving advice to the public at drop in clinics, helping a charity with a piece of legal work or agreeing to represent someone in court.
Doing pro bono work offers lawyers many different benefits. Besides giving you the opportunity to give something back to your community, you can also develop your legal skills and knowledge in your area of work, or get involved in new areas of work.
As part of National Pro Bono Week, Avon & Bristol Law Centre and Osborne Clarke organised a breakfast meeting. Over 60 people from the South West legal and business community came to hear Guy Beringer, Chairman of The Legal Education Foundation and ex-senior partner of Allen & Overy LLP and Clare Carter, Director of the Avon & Bristol Law Centre, speak about the relationships between the commercial law and social welfare legal advice sectors.
Following the keynote speeches was a panel discussion with Sarah Green (TLT), Tony Cherry (DAC Beachcroft), Michael Hayles (Burges Salmon) and Peter Clough (Osborne Clarke). Some really interesting discussions took place including the impact that legal issues have on mental and physical health, as well as the issue of funding in light of recent budget cuts by UK Government.
Click here to read coverage of the event in South West Business which was published in the Bristol Post this week.
In response to a survey carried out at the event, attendees overwhelming said they wanted:
- to know more about what pro bono opportunities exist
- to learn more about the impact of the social welfare legal advice sector’s work
And we listened: if you or your organisation is interested in hearing about keeping in touch with what is happening in the Bristol Pro Bono community, please join the new Bristol Pro Bono Network Linkedin Group.
This Group has enormous potential to connect up the sectors in Bristol and continue to build on the great relationships and partnerships which already exist in our city.
Not sure if Pro Bono is for you?
Take a couple of minutes to watch representatives from the Law Society, the Bar Council, CILEx, the Bar Pro Bono Unit, LawWorks and others discuss the importance of pro bono work carried out by the legal profession, consider their experiences of doing pro bono and outline ways for individuals to get involved.