Pro bono

Four Nations join forces for Pro Bono Week

Legal advice is needed more than ever as the vulnerable suffer consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, said David Greene, president of the Law Society of England and Wales.

The 19th Pro Bono Week, endorsed by the Law Society, takes place from 2 to 6 November, with a host of events to be held virtually because of the need to maintain social distancing.

It's an opportunity to recognise and support the voluntary contribution made by lawyers across the UK in giving free legal advice to those in need.

For the first time there will be panellists from all four nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – participating in the launch.

The theme of Pro Bono Week 2020 is ‘Pro Bono: Through the pandemic and beyond.’

Law Society president David Greene will be a panellist at an event looking at the use of technology in pro bono. He has carried out voluntary pro bono work in sub-Saharan Africa over the past three decades.

“I am delighted to be a panellist during this year’s Pro Bono Week,” said David Greene.

“Lawyers who offer legal help to those in need on a pro bono basis make an outstanding contribution which deserves recognition.

“As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, the vulnerable in society need the support of legal professionals more than ever.

“While pro bono work is rightly lauded, it must never be viewed as a substitute for legal aid. It is vital that the justice system and legal aid are properly funded and resourced by the government so that lawyers aren’t required to work for free.”

Immediate past Law Society president Simon Davis will be a panellist at another Pro Bono Week event focusing on the rule of law, while the Law Society will virtually host a Pro Bono Charter forum.

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.

Toby Brown, chair of the planning committee, said: “In this year of unprecedented challenges, for both the voluntary and legal sectors, the role of pro bono legal assistance has never been more important.”

Visit the Pro Bono Week website for full details of the events taking place.

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Press office contact: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100

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