Pro bono

Join the 20th anniversary Pro Bono Week celebrations

The focus is on the future as well as the past as Pro Bono Week celebrates its 20th anniversary next week (1–5 November).

Pro Bono Week, endorsed by the Law Society, will look ahead to the next 20 years of pro bono while shining a spotlight on key moments and cases from the past two decades.

The annual event promotes and supports the work of lawyers who volunteer their services for free to people and organisations who could not otherwise afford legal advice.

“Free legal advice can be life-changing for people who would otherwise have to navigate the justice system without expert help,” said Law Society of England and Wales president I. Stephanie Boyce.

“While the pro bono contribution made by lawyers is outstanding, it is vital the justice system and legal aid are properly funded and resourced by the government so lawyers aren’t required to work for free.

“I am delighted that my term in office coincides with the 20th anniversary of Pro Bono Week and look forward to attending some of the many events on offer.”

Pro Bono Week is organised by a committee that includes representatives from the legal professional bodies across the four nations of the UK, pro bono charities, law schools and law firms. It aims to encourage members of the legal profession and law students to volunteer their time, as well as celebrating pro bono work and promoting best practice.

Chair of the national organising committee, Toby Brown, said: “Last year’s Pro Bono Week saw 50 online events involving 5,000 lawyers, students and members of the charity sector discuss the challenges, and best practice, in providing pro bono during a pandemic.

“This year, for the 20th anniversary of Pro Bono Week, we are looking forward to taking stock at both in-person and online events and discussing how in the coming years we can continue to encourage and support the profession’s pro bono efforts.”

This year’s launch event will explore the past, present and future of pro bono, with speakers Yasmin Waljee OBE, Kirsty Thomson and Emma Rehal-Wilde.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce joins Iain Anderson, Baroness Hale of Richmond, James Harper and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC on a panel discussing the rule of law and access to justice.

Climate change also features strongly on the events agenda with the COP26 summit taking place in Glasgow.

Visit the Pro Bono Week website for full details of the events taking place. Some of this year’s events are being held virtually, with others taking place in person.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contacts: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928 | Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100