A specially designed and painted double decker bus exhibiting student pro bono schemes is visiting the University of Warwick 3.30-5.00pm on Wednesday 9th June 2004, to encourage future lawyers to discover the benefits of pro bono work. The visit is part of a drive to involve more members of the legal profession in voluntary work and free legal advice clinics during National Pro Bono Week (7-11 June).
Lawyers and student lawyers will get on board the bus for pro bono training and advice on how they can become involved in voluntary work. It is the first time a bus has been used to recruit lawyers to voluntary work.
Sarah Thomas, a Law student with the University of Warwick who is helping to organise the event, said: “This event is set to encourage young would-be lawyers to find out more about what working on a voluntary basis can do for them, and for society. Pro bono work is not a substitute for a proper system of publicly funded legal services, but getting involved in free legal advice clinics can be very rewarding as the range of work is vast and the benefit provided to the community tremendous.”
Mike Napier, the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Envoy, believes many law firm employees already give a great deal of their time and expertise on a voluntary basis: “National Pro Bono Week is hitting the road to take law to the people and inspire lawyers. Pro bono is the jewel in the crown of the legal community and is undertaken by all parts of the profession from law students through to senior partners.
“This week will enable those not yet involved to see for themselves the satisfaction to be gained from volunteering to help others.”
38 events across England and Wales aim to raise the profile of pro bono work and enable charities and voluntary organisations to meet legal professionals willing to help them. Now in its third year, National Pro Bono Week is organised by the Law Society, Bar Council, Institute of Legal Executives, Solicitors Pro Bono Group and Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Media Contacts: Sarah Thomas, Law Student with the University of Warwick, Mobile: 07803 138889 Michael Thompson, the Law Society, Tel: 020 7320 5884, Mobile: 07980 725501 Jenny Murray, Communications Office, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574 255