Pro Bono Watch

Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 734 0534, e-mail, DX44700 Soho Square

I read with interest the viewpoint page concerning the launch of the Pro Bono Watch campaign by The Lawyer.

Pro bono work forms a very important part of a lawyer's role in the community and helps to improve the public perception of lawyers.

Lawrights' free legal information Web site was launched to inform the public of its legal rights in circumstances where it is unable to afford a lawyer. The site depends upon valuable voluntary contributions to our legal content pages provided by a pool of professionals.

However, the whole structure of pro bono work depends on the existence of organisations such as FRU and the Solicitors Pro Bono Group. While the site may be able to provide information, there is still a need for free representation in courts for those who would not otherwise have access to a lawyer.

The Law Contact section puts users in touch with lawyers offering pro bono work as well as legal aid, conditional fees and paid services. Experience has shown that the need for pro bono work is real and should not be underestimated.

Patrick D Harrison, director, LawRights