Pro Bono

If you are seeking pro bono assistance, CILEx has put together a list of pro bono charities where you may be able to find help.

What is Pro Bono?

The term 'pro bono' comes from the Latin phase 'pro bono publico' which simply translated means 'for the public good'.

Pro bono work is legal work lawyers undertake without receiving payment. It can take the form of giving advice at drop in clinics, helping a charity with a piece of legal work or agreeing to represent someone in court.

Doing pro bono work offers lawyers many different benefits. Besides giving you the opportunity to give something back to your community, you can also develop your legal skills and knowledge in your area of work, or get involved in new areas of work.

A Pro Bono Protocol has been developed to quality mark pro bono work and ensure lawyers give an equal level of care, attention and priority to pro bono work as would apply to paid work.

What about Legal Aid?

Pro bono work is not a replacement for a properly funded legal aid system. CILEx and the CILEx Pro Bono Trust firmly believe that government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to good quality legal advice and representation even if they cannot afford to pay for it. Nevertheless there will always be some gaps and many community and charitable organisations have limited resources which would be better applied to their real aims rather than spent on legal fees. Pro bono aims to fill those gaps while continuing to campaign for a better legal aid system.

National Pro Bono Week 2015

National Pro Bono Week 2015 took place 2-6 November. Sponsored by CILEx, the Law Society and the Bar Council, the week brought together members of the legal sector to celebrate the breadth and impact of pro bono services in the legal profession.  Numerous events were held including a breakfast panel on regulation and pro bono and an evening of SPARK Talks. 

Where to Find Pro Bono Help

CILEx works in partnership with and supports other pro bono projects and services, however CILEx is unable to provide or arrange any pro bono help directly to members of CILEx or the general public. At present, CILEx does not maintain insurance nor any register of volunteers for the provision of such general services.
If you are looking for help with a problem, the best thing would be to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Law Centre who will be able to direct you to someone who can help or refer you to pro bono providers such as LawWorks, the Bar Pro Bono Unit or the Free Representation Unit.