LawWorks and Advocate announce closer working relationship
Published 30/11/2018 by Roisin O'Connell
Against a backdrop of more people facing legal problems alone, two pro bono charities will explore how closer working can improve the contribution and co-ordination of pro bono advice and representation.
The two leading pro bono charities, LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) and Advocate (the new name for the Bar Pro Bono Unit) are exploring opportunities to strengthen their impact, including formal partnership working and collaboration.
The touchstone for options going forward will be the potential for increased effectiveness in supporting volunteering by legal professionals and law schools and facilitation of greater access to justice.
Whilst pro bono is not, and should not be seen as, an alternative to legal aid, the legal professions have a proud history of enabling access to justice for those without means.
Discussions are at an early stage, and the two charities will be consulting with the Law Society and the Bar Council and other stakeholders. Organisations, who may be interested in being part of a new formal collaboration, will be welcome to contribute to the discussions.
The Chair of LawWorks, Alasdair Douglas, and the Hon Mr Justice Robin Knowles, the Chair of Advocate, said:
‘This is a good time to explore how LawWorks and Advocate can build on their achievements and maximise impact going forward. Trustees from the two charities have met to begin the process of exploring options and opportunities for closer working. We feel it important to be open about this process, as we are keen to invite ideas and contributions.”
The announcement highlights the importance of strengthening ties between pro bono charities and organisations in order to enhance the service that is provided to the people who require help to access justice.
It is clear that sharing resources and improving communications between charities will create a more informed and effective service provided to the users of their valuable services.