Law students signing up as Free Representation Unit (FRU) advisers have been surprised to find that the cost of both the social security and employment adviser training days have risen from last year's price of £32.50 to a substantial £40 – an increase of 23%. And as they have parted with their pennies, they have noted that despite the great work FRU does, there are only three law firms listed as donors in the cash-strapped charity's most recent annual financial report...
There's a list of the events taking place this week at ProBonoUK.
Look upwards when you’re walking along the street these days and chances are you’ll see several solicitors abseiling off buildings.
Some law firms like Hill Dickinson and Hogan Lovells have their solicitors do it out of their office windows. Others pick big-name regional attractions to descend, like the Forth Road Bridge (Dundas & Wilson, Gateley), Somerset's Uphill Quarry (Ashfords) and Reading’s The Blade building (Blandy & Blandy)...
EXCLUSIVE: It wasn’t just kids in Tottenham and Hackney who got carried away during last summer’s London riots. Law Society President John Wotton found himself rather swept up in events, too.
"Over the coming months, the victims will need practical help to get their businesses or personal lives back on track," said a statesman-like Wotton in August as he launched a 'Riot Helpline' to refer riot victims to lawyers working for free. "The Law Society has been calling on the profession to provide pro bono assistance to help meet the demand...and [I] urge others to join the movement," he added.
Not only was this pro bono assistance secured, but money was obtained from a host of top City law firms to fund a full-time caseworker to staff the Riot Helpline for a whole year.
What happened next?
As City pro bono hours drop, Alasdair Stewart of pro bono charity LawWorks is buoyed by firms' greater appetite for 'boots-on-the-ground' projects
Alex Aldridge’s much-discussed article on Legal Cheek yesterday about magic circle law firms’ plunging pro bono figures is one of those occasions where I’m not sure that the facts are showing the real picture.
Firstly, it is important to consider the context in which the declines have taken place. Are these reductions in the often-criticised pro bono ‘vanity projects’, by which I mean the international-focused, PR-generating, CSR brochure-friendly efforts? Or are these falls in the boots-on-ground, staple pro bono work? Only the latter matters in relation to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.
From the limited information we have to go on – which is based on what firms disclose in their CSR reports – this is simply impossible to work out.
As the slashing of the legal aid budget nears, it has become common to hear City law firms talked up as white knights ready to ride to the rescue of those no longer able to secure funding to take their problems to court. The trouble is, the amount of hours these firms devote to their pro bono programmes keeps falling.Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is the latest to announce a decline, with its freshly released 2010-11 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report revealing that pro bono and volunteering activities are down by 11% across the firm. It gets worse, much worse...