We are pro pro bono

Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, Fax 0171-734 0534

I see that the beatings about pro bono work are going to continue until morale improves (The Lawyer, 21 July).

Contrary to your frequent editorials, can I point out that the Law Society is totally supportive of moves to encourage pro bono work in the profession and is an enthusiastic participant in the work of the Solicitor Pro Bono Group.

However, the Law Society has always rightly argued that it is unfair to impose compulsory pro bono work on the profession and at odds with the vast amount of voluntary – and largely unsung – pro bono work that is already being done.

All over England and Wales firms, some operating on low margin, provide free consultation to the public, unpaid advice to local organisations and charities, and assistance to needy client who are outside the narrow parameters of legal aid.

The Solicitors Pro Bono Group, ably facilitated by Peta Sweet as its director, will ensure that proper recognition is given to that work and encourage firms to do even more.

In doing so, it will continue to have the full support of the Law Society.

Barbara Cahalane

Director of communications

The Law Society.