Lawyers who help change lives through volunteering free legal help take centre stage at this year’s Pro Bono Week (6th-10th November).
The 22nd annual celebration recognises the outstanding voluntary contribution made by the legal profession across the UK to provide legal advice for those who could not otherwise afford it and who do not qualify for legal aid. Law Society of England and Wales president Nick Emmerson said:
“The Law Society is once again happy to be taking part in a celebration that amplifies those involved in pro bono work and encourages other members of the legal profession to join. Pro bono has a huge impact on the lives of others by ensuring that people have access to justice no matter what their circumstances may be.
This year, the Law Society is hosting an invitation-only roundtable along with LawWorks about our Major Incidents Response Plan – a project that was developed after the Grenfell tower tragedy which aims to provide emergency pro bono aid for those involved in significant incidents. I will be chairing this event and look forward to discussing this important piece of work with key stakeholders.”
Pro Bono Week 2023 launches on Monday 6th November, with the Attorney General the Rt Hon Victoria Prentis KC MP set to host a panel discussion on how pro bono can truly change lives for the official launch event.
Other events include one for junior lawyers, with the Solicitor General due to attend and a panel discussion on changing lives through pro bono with LSESU Law Society. Nick Emmerson continued:
“Reports from the Law Society’s Pro Bono Charter Signatories from this year have displayed a vast range of incredible work, from helping those struggling through the cost-of-living crisis, to providing aid for Ukrainian refugees. We commend these lawyers and law firms for going above and beyond to help others through these initiatives.
While pro bono can change lives, it is not a substitute for legal aid and a properly funded justice system. Everyone has the right to access to justice and this should not be relied solely on charity or volunteer projects.”
Toby Brown, chair of the Pro Bono Week organising committee, added:
“Lawyers and law students can attend events across the jurisdiction during Pro Bono Week to learn more about and discuss how we offer free legal help to those in need. It is also a chance for us collectively to thank the legal profession for volunteering over the past year at a time when legal help is especially needed.”