Attorney-Generalís pro bono co-ordinating committee Public Legal Education Working Group
The Public Legal Education (PLE) working group was set up by the Attorney-Generalís pro bono co-ordinating committee in late 2012 with a single term of reference - To make recommendations to the Attorney ĖGeneralís pro bono co-ordinating committee for facilitating the further development of Attorney-Generalís pro bono co-ordinating committee. The working groupís conclusions plus additional documents can be downloaded via the 'Download documents' link.
Pro Bono Yearbook 2013
The yearbook is now available to download or view online.
Information for the Legal Profession
This page provides information for members of the legal profession on how to support clients who need legal help, but cannot afford to pay for it and cannot get public funding.
If you have a client who may need pro bono assistance, please consult the route map for pro bono help to help determine their suitability.
If you would like to offer your services on a pro bono basis, in the first instance, please contact The National Pro Bono Centre.
Pro Bono Organisations
Below is a list of the main agencies offering national and international pro bono opportunities.
Bar Pro Bono Unit
The Unit was established by Lord Goldsmith QC, the Unit's President, in May 1996 to provide pro bono free legal advice and representation in deserving cases where public funding (Legal Aid) is not available or where the applicant is unable to afford legal assistance.
The Unit helps by putting solicitors, advice agencies and members of the public in touch with barristers who can give advice - either in writing or in conference; represent applicants in any Court/Tribunal in England or Wales; assist with mediation all free of charge.
The Free Representation Unit (FRU)
FRU was established in 1976 and provides representation at Employment Tribunals, Employment Appeal Tribunals, Unified Appeal Tribunals (Social Security Appeal Tribunals, Medical Appeal Tribunals etc), Social Security Commissioner Hearings, Immigration Appeal Tribunals and Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Panels.
FRU accepts cases referred from referral agencies (Citizen Advice Bureaux, Law centres etc) from the London area. However, it does not have the resources to handle cases direct from members of the public
LawWorks is the operating name of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG) - an independent charity with a mission to support, promote and encourage a commitment to pro bono across the solicitors' profession.
LawWorks aims to increase the delivery of free legal advice to individuals and communities in need.
ProHelp is Business in the Community's pro bono campaign. It is a national multi-sector network of over 800 legal and other professional firms working collaboratively to provide pro bono support to local community groups and voluntary organisations. In addition to offering free legal advice, ProHelp can help on matters such as business planning, property advice, marketing and PR and provides community organisations with a one-stop shop for those seeking professional support.
Professional Bodies and Legal Groups
The Bar Council
The Bar Council is the regulatory and representative body for barristers in England and Wales. It deals with the qualification and conduct rules governing barristers and those wishing to become barristers. It deals with complaints against barristers. It also puts the Bar's view on matters of concern about the legal system and acts as a source of information about the Bar.
The Law Society
The Law Society is the regulatory and representative body for solicitors in England and Wales. The Law Society works with a wide variety of external bodies across legal, government and professional institutions to achieve a better system of justice for the public. These relationships are essential to the Society's key functions.
The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX)
ILEX is the professional body which represents Legal Executives and trainee Legal Executives and enhances their role and standing in the legal profession. ILEX is a leading provider of comprehensive legal education and influences law reform.
The Institute of Legal Executives was established in 1963 with the support of the Law Society. The Managing Clerks' Association, from which ILEX developed, recognised that many non solicitor staff employed in fee earning work, and in the management of firms, needed and wanted a training route which would improve standards and award recognition for knowledge and skills. The education and training facilities ILEX offers have developed in number and diversity so that ILEX is able to provide a route to a career in law which is open to all.
Student Pro Bono
More than 70% of law schools in England and Wales have pro bono programmes including legal advice clinics, telephone help lines, tribunal and court representation and public legal education activities. A database of pro bono services provided by individual law schools can be found on the Student Pro Bono website.
i-ProBono is an online network connecting online network to connect organisations in need of legal assistance with lawyers and students who want to use their legal skills for the public good.
Environmental Law Foundation (ELF)
ELF is a network of environmental lawyers offering free advice. Their telephone advice and referral line provides free initial advice to individuals and communities suffering from environmental harm or threats to their local environment as a consequence of local decisions. Call 020 7404 1030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about organisations delivering pro bono to support other countries around the world, please visit the International page of this site.