Free Representation Unit
The Free Representation Unit (FRU) has been described as the first organised attempt to deliver pro bono legal services from a base within the legal profession. FRU was created by law students in 1972. We combine providing an essential representation service to vulnerable clients, with training the lawyers of the future.
FRU is a registered charity. Each year we represent hundreds of clients in social security and employment tribunals. These tribunals were originally designed to be accessible to litigants in person but in practice are intimidating proceedings that rely on knowledge of the law and legal process. Ninety percent of our volunteers are aspiring solicitors or barristers who require real legal experience to help them to obtain a training contract or pupillage. The remainder of our volunteers are solicitors and barristers in practice, looking to develop their skills or to undertake pro bono work. We believe that gaining FRU experience helps to level the playing field for aspiring lawyers from non-traditional legal backgrounds.