Domestic pro bono resources
Charities providing pro bono opportunities for lawyers
LawWorksLawWorks is the leading pro bono charity for solicitors in England and Wales. You can volunteer your time to people and community groups who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay for a solicitor.
LawWorks is committed to working with solicitors to support, promote and encourage a commitment to pro bono across the profession by:
- supporting firms to develop and maintain pro bono clinics
- running a service which matches community groups with law firms
Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) Legal Network
The network connects CSR professionals working within law firms. It:
- has a forum where you can ask confidential questions and share knowledge
- runs surveys
- holds an annual conference
- organises quarterly face-to-face meetings
The network can help with pro bono requests which have not been placed anywhere else.
There is a joining fee for firms and chambers but the network has good membership coverage of city, international and national firms.
Lawyers Volunteering for the Arts (LVFA)
LVFA was set up in 2012 by a group of London law firms that wanted to offer pro bono legal support to the arts community. It encourages solicitors to provide free legal advice to low income and not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations and community groups.
Free Representation Unit
The Free Representation Unit (FRU) represents clients at social security and employment tribunals in London and the south east.
Most volunteers are law students, but qualified solicitors are also welcome (and may be waived some of the training requirements if they have relevant experience). Volunteers are supported by FRU staff and take responsibility for case preparation as well as the advocacy in tribunal.
Organisations supporting and providing pro bono services
Access to Justice Foundation
The foundation provides access to justice for vulnerable people. It raises funds for organisations which support those who cannot afford to pay for legal help.
Funds are shared among:
- pro bono organisations
- strategic regional projects
- local advice agencies such as Citizens Advice and law centres
The UK Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono is a profession-led initiative for law firms that are committed to pro bono and access to justice. Fee-earners aim to volunteer 25 hours per year.
Participating law firms collaborate to:
- improve address unmet legal need in the UK through pro bono work
- develop systems and infrastructure to deliver pro bono services effectively
Pro Bono Community
Pro Bono Community launched during National Pro Bono Week 2013 at the Law Society. It prepares law students, trainees and junior lawyers for volunteering at law centres and other advice agencies.
Pro Bono Connect
Pro Bono Connect matches solicitors and barristers who want to work collaboratively to provide pro bono services.
If your firm is a member of the Pro Bono Connect scheme, you can ask a barrister at another member firm. They do not have to accept the request, only to consider it. If a request is accepted, the solicitor and barrister work on the pro bono case as a team.
The scheme is currently limited to the following areas of law:
- common law
- public law
- tax cases
Young Citizens is the UK’s leading provider of public legal education (PLE).
It equips children and young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make a positive difference to the society in which they live – locally, nationally and globally. It does this by providing:
- the Big Legal Lesson – to give teachers the tools they need to confidently introduce the law into their classrooms
- support for intermediary bodies such as the National Justice Museum and the Association of Citizenship Teaching, to help schools that have no budget for PLE
- a wider range of options for support for different types of legal firms