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Queen Mary University of London has become the latest legal education provider to launch a pro bono group.
The group has already secured placements for Queen Mary students with Clifford Chance in its Canning Town project and with Allen & Overy in its Battersea advice clinic and its new Twinning project.
Queen Mary Pro Bono Group (QMPBG) co-founder and vice-president Julie Pinborough says the new organisation has the full support of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
QMPBG hopes to launch its projects in two phases. Phase one sees the launch of three programmes aimed at encouraging Queen Mary law students to get involved with pro bono work. The three programmes are a placement programme, giving students the chance to volunteer at an advice centre of a Citizens Advice Bureau; The EastLaw programme, based on the StreetLaw projects in the US; and the Legal News programme, used to improve commercial awareness and presentation skills of students.
In phase two with the help of the SPBG, the Queen Mary school of law and volunteer lawyers QMPBG hopes to launch its own advice centre, offering a specialised first port of call service to the residents of Tower Hamlets.
Its founders believe that given the universitys location between Stepney Green and Mile End tube stations, the establishment of an advice centre would be an invaluable asset to the residents of the local community, and ultimately the borough as a whole.