The future of legal volunteering

The future of legal volunteering

Cuts to the legal sector will oblige a more resourceful approach to how the potential of pro bono work can be best utilised in the future. As part of National Pro Bono Week 2016, Lesley Anderson QC, chair of the Chancery Bar Association’s pro bono subcommittee, looks at civil society endeavours and the role lawyers can play in public education on law and politics, as key and optimistic starting points.

Other than the traditional offering of free legal advice, what are the additional ways that lawyers can use their legal expertise for the public good?

This can be done in two main ways. First, projects like Street Law are concerned with classroom and community based programmes which educate young people about law, government and constitutional issues. While the degree of active political engagement is still low among that age group, lawyers have an important educational role to play in the national post-Brexit and Scottish referendum debates (the latter saw 16 and 17 year olds enfranchised for the first time and a significantly higher level of active participation). These events reinforce the crucial part lawyers play in the national, constitutional debate. Second, lawyers have significant transferable skill sets which go beyond their technical legal knowledge and legal literacy and are well placed to participate in s

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