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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Profession celebrates 20th Pro Bono Week

Profession celebrates 20th Pro Bono Week


Celebrations will focus on the future while 'shining a spotlight' on the achievements of the last 20 years

Members of the profession will next week (1 – 5 November) celebrate the legal sector’s 20th Pro Bono Week. 

Pro Bono Week celebrates the work of lawyers who provide free advice to those who could not otherwise afford legal support.

Law Society president, I. Stephanie Boyce, said: “Free legal advice can be life-changing for people who would otherwise have to navigate the justice system without expert help”.

“While the pro bono contribution made by lawyers is outstanding, it is vital the justice system and legal aid are properly funded and resourced by the government so lawyers aren’t required to work for free.

“I am delighted that my term in office coincides with the 20th anniversary of Pro Bono Week and look forward to attending some of the many events on offer.”

The 20th Pro Bono Week marks its official launch with a special hybrid event – held in-person at Gray’s Inn and streamed online – with the attorney general, the Right Honourable Suella Braverman QC MP, and a panel of legal experts.

Speakers include the attorney general and Yasmin Waljee OBE (partner, international pro bono at Hogan Lovells and co-lead of the social impact practice), Kirsty Thomson (managing partner/director at JustRight Scotland) and Emma Rehal-Wilde (law lecturer at London South Bank University).

This event is the start of a week-long programme of events across the UK, focused on recognising, celebrating and encouraging the profession’s commitment to pro bono work.

Chair of the national organising committee, Toby Brown, commented: “Last year’s Pro Bono Week saw 50 online events involving 5,000 lawyers, students and members of the charity sector discuss the challenges, and best practice, in providing pro bono during a pandemic.

“This year for the 20th anniversary of Pro Bono Week we are looking forward to taking stock at both in person and online events and discussing how in the coming years we can continue to encourage and support the profession’s pro bono efforts.”

I. Stephanie Boyce will join a panel comprised of Iain Anderson, Baroness Hale of Richmond, James Harper and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC to discuss the rule of law and access to justice.

Climate change also features strongly on the events agenda with the COP26 summit taking place in Glasgow.

Pro Bono Week’s launch event takes place on Monday 1 November 2021, 6pm – 8pm. In-person and online places are available to book here. Visit the Pro Bono Week website for full details of all in-person and virtual events taking place.