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Why National Pro Bono Week 2017 is focusing on health and education

9 November 2017

As a growing number of free legal advice clinics pop up in GP surgeries and healthcare centres, legal charities and professional bodies behind this year’s National Pro Bono Week are drawing attention to the link between pro bono legal advice and health.

At the launch event on Monday, legal commentator and journalist Joshua Rozenberg will ask the panel of experts about these innovative projects and discuss how pro bono advice can be delivered where people already turn to trusted providers, such as their doctor.

Sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Law Society and the Bar Council, National Pro Bono Week 2017 is a celebration of pro bono featuring discussions, events and advice clinics throughout the week.

Across the country academics, legal professionals, students and members of the judiciary will offer help to individuals and small businesses and discuss issues including employment law, civil rights, climate change, working with NGOs, promoting the rule of law overseas, and the role of pro bono in health and public legal education.

See a full list of events available

President of the Law Society Joe Egan said:

“I am so proud of the extent of the pro bono legal advice offered by lawyers every year. This advice gives not only life-changing practical help, but can also relieve mental and physical distress.

“In 2017 the public service ethos of so many of our profession has been particularly evident as they have stepped in to volunteer their services to victims of terror attacks and the devastating fire in Grenfell Tower.”

President, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives Millicent Grant said:

“Pro Bono changes lives – and once a year we showcase the incredible work of professionals who give their time freely to do just that. It is not about plugging the gaps where legal aid is unavailable to those who need it, it never should be, instead our members do it because it’s the right thing to do. We should all be inspired by those who give their time to share their professional skills to help others, and Pro Bono Week is an opportunity to thank them.”

Chair of the Bar Andrew Langdon QC said:

“All legal professionals who undertake pro bono work, often in stressful and difficult circumstances and on top of already demanding work-loads, are deserving of nothing but our praise. It is vital work, relieving the plight of the fortunate minority who receive it, and we should be proud of the individual contributions made by members of our profession.”

“National Pro bono week is an important celebration of the enormous commitment and contribution made by lawyers in all areas of practice, right across the country. The effort, skill and determination they put in to pro bono can be life-changing for those they help.”

Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP said:

“I would like to thank everyone who donates their time and expertise in doing this challenging but rewarding work.

“Pro bono week is an important opportunity for the legal community to highlight its ongoing commitment to offering legal advice, and to help increase people’s access to justice.”

About National Pro Bono Week 2017

The 16th annual National Pro Bono Week will take place on 6-11 November 2017. Sponsored by the Law Society, Bar Council and CILEx, the aim of the week is to celebrate the breadth and impact of pro bono work undertaken by the legal profession across the year, and to encourage further involvement and development.

For more information on National Pro Bono Week, please visit the National Pro Bono Centre website.

Notes to editors

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body, established for solicitors in 1825, that works globally to support and represent its members, promoting the highest professional standards and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Harriet Beaumont | +44 (0)20 7320 5830