Pro Bono Community is a new charity that has developed a specialised training programme for law students, trainees and junior lawyers aimed at preparing them for volunteering in Law Centres and other advice agencies.
The charity has identified a need for a structured training programme that provides Law Centres and other advice agencies with volunteers who possess the knowledge, skills and commitment to assist their activities and help them to meet the huge and growing gap between the demand for free legal advice and their capacity to deliver it.
The training provides learners with an introduction to advice work in Law Centres with an emphasis on interpersonal and practical skills. In the first few lectures, the course looks at the background to the sector, client care, triaging techniques and recent welfare reforms before offering modules in a range of legal disciplines including welfare benefits, employment, housing, debt and consumer law.
In conjunction with the training, the charity is able to coordinate an agreed number of days of volunteering for participants at Law Centres and other advice agencies for those firms and other clients who wish us to do so.
PBC went live with its training in 2014-15 and has run 24 training programmes since then involving more than 480 attendees from law firms, universities and other organisations including Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Simmons & Simmons, Shearman & Sterling, Olswang, Ashurst, Morgan Lewis, Hogan Lovells, Farrer & Co, City Law School, LSE, King’s College London, Greenwich University, BPP and London South Bank University.