Law centre stage
We were delighted by the recognition of pro bono work with law centres at the LawWorks pro bono awards, as reported by the Gazette. The prizes provided a good snapshot of the variety of ways of working pro bono: as individuals (Sheena Teli, North Kensington Law Centre), in-house groups (Virgin Money with Newcastle Law Centre and others), and as a firm-wide commitment (Simmons & Simmons with South West London Law Centres).
Law centres welcome this kind of involvement and are grateful for the contribution. While their own lawyers are the essential core for providing a free legal advice service, solicitors working pro bono allow the centres to extend their services and help more people.
In stretching their resources even further, pro bono work helps centres to better cater for the great and growing demand for local legal advice. We have every intention of continuing the centres’ work for their communities, despite funding cuts and the government’s curtailment of civil legal aid. We invite firms to explore with LawWorks, or directly with local law centres and the federation, new ways in which to keep up this vital community resource.
Julie Bishop director, Law Centres Federation, London EC4