National Pro Bono Week

PRO BONO: CALLING ALL IN HOUSE LAWYERS!

UK National Pro Bono Week takes place this year in the week commencing 2 November 2020 and The In House Pro Bono Group is encouraging UK in-house legal departments to use this year as an opportunity to celebrate our pro bono work.

Please join us in designating Wednesday, 4 November 2020 as “In House Pro Bono Day” to:

  • Join our webinar and training, “Realise our Potential” (register here);
  • Encourage and promote the work of pro bono volunteer lawyers; and
  • Use this event as an opportunity to convert that positive energy into actual pro bono work and hours.

Our goal is to motivate as many in-house legal departments in the UK to encourage their lawyers on Wednesday 4 November 2020 to:

  • Undertake some form of pro bono work on the day;
  • Kick off a pro bono initiative; or
  • Start the discussion about volunteering in your organisation.
    •  

Please watch out for further emails in the build up to the week, and our social media feeds (@inhouseprobono on Twitter and LinkedIn), and we ask if you would kindly spread the word and share and retweet our posts.

For more details about National Pro Bono Week, please see the official website here.

Share Your Success!

We would really like to hear from the in-house legal community about what you are doing for pro bono week. So please tell us how you plan to promote pro bono within your organisation during Pro Bono Week, and about any particular projects or initiatives you are able to share information about.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on info@inhouseprobono.uk, and thanks to all of you for participating.

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

The In House Pro Bono Group will be sharing specific further opportunities in the lead up to Pro Bono Week. In the meantime, there are a number of ways you can undertake pro bono work on the day, or kick off a project. They include:

  • External Law Firms. Partner with your external counsel who may have pro bono projects or casework that they need assistance on. Not only can you achieve more together, it is also a great and rewarding way to develop the client-law firm relationship.
  • Law Works. If you are a member of LawWorks (paid membership), speak to them about potential opportunities.
    • Not a member of LawWorks? As part of Pro Bono Week, the charity LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) is pleased to offer a free 3 month membership for in-house legal teams. The free membership comes with no obligations, but will be an opportunity to learn about LawWorks, its events, projects and programmes and opportunities to be involved in pro bono. To apply – or for more information about LawWorks – please contact Avnita at bhandal@lawworks.org.uk
    • About LawWorks. LawWorks is a Solicitors Pro Bono Group, a charity which promotes and supports pro bono legal advice. Click here for further details.
  • Legal Advice Clinics: There are legal advice clinics looking for volunteers and at the moment most clinics are being run virtually. Below are two examples:
  • If you are a member of TrustLaw (free membership), volunteer for one of their opportunities available here.
    • About TrustLaw. Trustlaw helps connect charities that need pro bono support to potential legal advisors. Note that for any stand-alone advice, in-house legal departments would require professional indemnity insurance.
      • Need help with partnering on insurance with a law firm? The In House Pro Bono Group has looking at identifying law firms that would be willing to partner with in-house legal departments on TrustLaw pro bono projects, and TrustLaw has agreed to match-make those partnerships with projects that would fit their skill sets. This would enable in-house lawyers to participate where their employer does not have PI insurance. Click here if you are interested in participating.
  • LawWorks Free Legal Answers. You can engage in providing stand-alone advice through LawWorks’ Free Legal Answers.
    • About LawWorks Free Legal Answers. Individuals on low income, and not eligible for legal aid, can request initial or brief advice about a specific civil legal issue from a volunteer lawyer via this online free service. The service is run by LawWorks. Any advice and information provided by lawyers through the Free Legal Answers website is covered by professional indemnity insurance held by LawWorks.

Additional resources: Other helpful assistance on finding pro bono projects can be found in the in-house pro bono guidance issued in 2019. Click here for further details.

In House Pro Bono Group Events

Mark your calendar for these events organized by the In House Pro Bono Group for National Pro Bono Week. Our planning is still ongoing, so be sure to check back regularly for new events. To join our planning group, email us at info@inhouseprobono.uk

2 November

Legal Clinic 101 Series: Practical Tips when Advising at Legal Clinics with Simmons & Simmons

Never worked in a legal clinic or feel you could benefit from hearing from some experts in the field? In our first session, we will focus on “Practical Tips when Advising at Legal Clinics“. 

The session will be presented by Tim Boyce and Charlotte Rendle from Simmons and Simmons and Joshua Smith, Legal Counsel at Schroders.

Register here.

3 November

Legal Clinic 101 Series: Housing Issues with Jones Day

Our second session will be on housing issues (including Section 21 eviction notices) and will be presented by Liz Robertson and Greg Barden from Jones Day. You will be given a case study highlighting issues frequently seen in legal clinics, information on legislation and court forms and practical responses on how to assist your client.

 

Register here.

4 November

Panel Discussion: Realising our Potential

The In-House Pro Bono Group invites you to join us for a webinar primarily aimed at the in-house legal community focussing on how in-house lawyers and their legal departments can participate in pro bono work, and why it is so important for us to do so, now more than ever, in these difficult times.

Register here.

5 November

Legal Clinic 101 Series: Employment Law with Simmons & Simmons

This session of the Legal Clinic 101 series will be on employment law issues and will be presented by Peter Lockwood from Simmons & Simmons. This will be a one hour lunch and learn session. Employment law is one of the most high demand areas at legal clinics and we expect an increase in queries further to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Register here.