What is Pro-Bono?
Pro-bono literally means work done for the public good without compensation. Generally it refers to the legal work or advice given to members of the public free of charge, where they cannot afford advice and are unable to attain legal aid. There are also lots of potential areas for students with an interest in law to get involved.
Why is Pro-Bono Important?
As well as being important to help members of the community, pro bono work is also extremely advantageous in helping society members develop their CV and gain more experience. Anything that can set you apart from other people will immediately make you noticeable to potential employers. Upcoming projects would demonstrate to employers that you can work within a group, but also have the skills and confidence to present, as an individual, to a potentially large audience. Getting involved in our projects would also show how you are willing to spare the time to help others.
Our Pro-Bono Projects
Schools Mooting Project
A very successful project with which a number of society members got involved last year was the school mooting project. This saw small groups of students regularly visiting two local colleges to firstly teach on a specific area of law, then give help and advice to students to help them prepare a moot. This year we hope to be involving another college in addition to the previous two to allow more members to get involved. This provides a great opportunity for the college students to enhance their CV and prepare for potentially taking part in mooting if they go on to study at university.
Law School Challenge
This year we are entering the law school challenge. The challenge is a fund raising competition between law schools to raise money for the bar pro bono unit who provide free legal advice and advocacy for those who would otherwise not be able to afford the help. There is no limit on how many team members we can have so the more people involved the more money we are likely to raise! How you raise the money is up to you and you could do anything from a cake sale to a sponsored sky dive. This is a great opportunity to get involved and demonstrate to potential employers that you are willing to get involved with charity work, display your organisation skills and also work well within a team. There is a prize offered for the winning team which is an award that is endorsed by the attorney general, something that would look great on any CV!
This year we’ve initiated a couple of brand new projects. ‘Law Talks’ consist of groups of students going into schools and talking on any area of law, from mini-lectures on criminal law to lectures on students’ rights. This is a great opportunity to show on your CV that you acquired great teaching, presentation and communication skills!!!
Citizen Advice Bureau
The CAB is a great opportunity to do pro bono work. The very nature of the bureau is to give free advice to citizens with a broad range of social problems. Our aim of this year is to organize a recruitment service within the Law society, for qualified students, who are serious about pro bono activities. Students are going to be introduced to the CAB by us and have a real chance to benefit from the experience working with CAB in town or in Morecambe. By attending this amazing project, we ensure you to make your CV standout and give you a huge advantage in any job interview!
This year we aim to establish a legal clinic within the law school. This would involve setting up a partnership between solicitors, barristers, academics and students in the local area. It will have two main objectives: to provide free legal advice for those who are unable to afford it and to provide first-hand legal experience for the Law students at the University. This is an opportunity, which cannot be missed! Not only will it hugely benefit the local area, students will also develop special legal skills with tasks such as interviewing and having conduct over cases, all under the close supervision of qualified lawyers.
Further information to follow.
We are very interested in setting up links with local prisons and youth offenders institutes to offer support to those that have been convicted, particularly to those due for release who may want advice on employment possibilities or contact with children.
If you have any ideas for additional projects then please do get in touch, we’re more than happy to try and help you facilitate any worthwhile projects in the local community!
If you would like further information then please contact us through one of our channels.