National Pro Bono Week

To the Young Bar,

I am writing to invite you to take part in the 15th Annual National Pro Bono Week, sponsored by the Bar Council, the Law Society, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. This takes place between 7-11 November 2016.

Pro bono work is of great value. By taking on pro bono work, young barristers decline paid opportunities and offer their time and resources to further access to justice.

Many young barristers undertake pro bono work; whether by working with the Bar Pro Bono Unit, the Free Representation Unit, the Personal Support Unit, giving advice in Law Centres, working on the Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support (CLIPS) scheme, or even through voluntarily reducing their fees and hourly rates to ensure that they can represent clients who require their help and assistance. There are many schemes and initiatives throughout England and Wales through which young barristers help to ensure that those most in need are supported.

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National Pro Bono Week is a week devoted to marking the efforts of barristers, solicitors, and legal executives in England and Wales. The Young Barristers’ Committee is committed to supporting the efforts of young barristers who take up pro bono work. We have a member of the Young Barristers’ Committee who sits on the Bar Council’s Pro Bono Board, and have supported the efforts of the profession by publicising the consultation on the level of pro bono work done at the Bar (click here to participate).

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I hope you will join us to celebrate and promote the pro bono work of the legal community, through the series of events throughout National Pro Bono Week.  The launch event for the Week is an evening of “SPARK Talks” on Monday 7 November at BPP University London. This event presents an opportunity to hear about the experiences of people engaged in pro bono practices as they recount challenges, concerns and hopes for the future. The Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC, will give the opening keynote on behalf of the legal profession. Other speakers include Ann Cooper (national coordinator at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) UK), Amy Heading  (Pro Bono Director, UK & Nordic at DLA Piper), Gloria Morrison (Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) Campaigner), among many others.

For further information, please email YBC@BarCouncil.org.uk or visit the National Pro Bono Week website here.

Louisa Nye

Chairman of the Young Barristers’ Committee 2016

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