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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 four Law Society pro bono forums per year
    • receive regular Law Society newsletters
    • be included in case studies in the biennial report
    • be eligible for nomination for the Law Society's Pro Bono Excellence Award
    • have the opportunity to lead and shape the pro bono agenda by providing biennial data about their pro bono work
    • demonstrate they have or are developing a pro bono policy
    • have identified a person or committee responsible for pro bono work
    • be eligible for a three month trial membership with LawWorks, including access to their online information and resources.

    See a list of Pro Bono Charter signatories.

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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 collecting and sharing examples of practical activities that contribute to an increase in the effectiveness of pro bono delivery and result in more solicitors getting involved in such work and signing this Statement of Commitment.
    • Take responsibility for meeting our Pro Bono Charter commitments.
    • Work together to develop and adopt future protocols and best practice guidance that support the practical implementation of the aims of this Pro Bono Charter.
    • Contribute our data to a joint biennial report based on a monitoring exercise to measure the impact of this Pro Bono Charter and its protocols in improving best pro bono practice and increasing the amount of pro bono delivery.

    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 partner or director at your firm or company who can be the "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