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Pro Bono Charter

  • Pro Bono Charter

    The Pro Bono Charter is a Statement of Commitment that firms, ABS and in-house teams are invited to sign up to. It is a great opportunity to highlight your law firm or organisation's pro bono work.

    By signing the Statement of Commitment, your law firm or organisation is demonstrating its commitment to improving access to justice for those individuals and organisations who have legal needs and are ineligible for legal aid and unable to afford to pay for legal services.

    Why sign up?

    Pro Bono Charter signatories will:

    • have access to additional tools and information
    • be invited to attend Law Society pro bono forums
    • have the opportunity to lead and shape the pro bono agenda
    • receive a regular Law Society newsletter
    • be included, as appropriate, as case studies in the biennial report
    • be eligible for nomination for the Law Society's Pro Bono Excellence Award
    • be eligible for a three month trial membership with LawWorks, including access to their online information and resources.

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    Statement of commitment to the Pro Bono Charter

    We believe that a commitment to access to justice is at the heart of the legal profession and that pro bono work, as one method of achieving this, is an integral part of the working lives of solicitors.

    Pro bono legal work is always only an adjunct to, and not a substitute for, a proper system of publicly funded legal services. Pro bono acts as an adjunct to state funded services, which provides an exceptionally important contribution to society, helping many vulnerable people, families on lower incomes, charities and international communities, whose legal needs would otherwise be left unmet.

    We recognise that at all stages throughout their career, solicitors have the capacity to use their professional expertise to help those with legal needs and we will strive to encourage a commitment to pro bono throughout the solicitor profession.

    Accordingly, we will:

    • Strive to achieve best practice in our pro bono work, for individuals and organisations, who require legal advice in order to access justice but who cannot afford it.
    • Support the development of best practice in pro bono by sharing examples of practical activities and advice, as appropriate.
    • Work with other Charter signatories to develop and adopt future protocols and best practice guidance that support the practical implementation of the aims of this Pro Bono Charter.
    • Endeavour to contribute a biennial report on pro bono - e.g., providing data and/or case studies - the content of the report and form of data to be decided following consultation with Charter signatories.
    • Take responsibility for meeting our Pro Bono Charter commitments.

    As a minimum sign of commitment to pro bono, we agree that we have (or are developing):

    • A pro bono policy
    • An identified person or committee responsible for pro bono work
    • Endorsed the Joint Pro Bono Protocol

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    Signing up to the Pro Bono Charter is easy and applications can be made using the form below. You will need to supply details of a pro bono identified contact.

    For enquiries about the charter, please contact Rebecca Wilkinson, 020 7316 5662, pro bono and public legal education policy adviser.

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  • I welcome the Pro Bono Charter as an innovation that will bring the solicitor profession together in its support of pro bono, helping to strengthen the already generous contribution that the solicitor profession makes to society through the voluntary free advice it provides to individuals, communities and NGOs.

    Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP