The Law Society is creating two new posts to promote pro bono work.
The society is to appoint a pro bono coordinator to support and promote the legal profession’s pro bono activity and to develop new activities to facilitate pro bono work by solicitors and trainees. The aim is to develop a coordinated plan of pro bono activity in cooperation with clients, law schools and other groups.
It is also sponsoring a new post of pro bono project manager for three years, to be recruited by LawWorks, the organisation formerly known as the Solicitors Pro Bono Group.
The new pro bono project manager will develop student pro bono services throughout England and Wales and integrate services into the LawWorks framework. The role will involve liaising with law schools, developing training material and working with local law societies and firms to provide new pro bono opportunities.
LawWorks chief executive Robert Gill said: “The new law schools student post will provide a central resource enabling LawWorks to coordinate law schools and students who wish to extend or develop pro bono services.
“Working with a wide range of partners in the academic, voluntary and legal professions, we hope to increase the prevalence and the effectiveness of law school-based pro bono over the next three years.”
Law Society chief executive Des Hudson said the new posts will play “a crucial role” in promoting pro bono in the profession. But he added that “it’s important to emphasise that it’s in no way a substitute for a proper system of publicly funded legal services in the delivery of access to justice”, referring to the Government’s plans for legal aid reform.
LawWorks has a membership of 77 organisations, comprising: law firms, including all four of the magic circle firms; BPP Professional Education, the home of BPP Law School; businesses such as Lloyds TSB Bank and EDF Energy; and bodies including the Law Centres Federation.