In support of the Law Society’s Pro Bono Week, which runs from Monday 04 November 2019 to Friday 08 November 2019, lawyers from Thompson Smith and Puxon have been getting involved in a local pro bono project.

Pro bono work is where lawyers offer their assistance and services for free. Many people cannot afford to pay for legal advice which means that they do not understand their legal position. This puts people at risk of losing any remedy to which they are entitled or being subjected to Court orders/judgments unnecessarily. Pro bono work therefore enables lawyers to help members of their local community who are in need of assistance and would otherwise not be able to pay for legal advice.

Solicitors in the Dispute Resolution Team, Naomi Baker and Laura-Pauline Adcock-Jones have volunteered at the Essex Law Clinic based in the University of Essex. The Essex Law Clinic arranges for initial consultations, with the local community, which are conducted by students and overseen by local practitioners in order to explore an individual’s legal issue and provide them with the legal advice that they need.

Naomi says: “Not only does the Law Clinic provide great experience to students looking for a career in the legal profession it helps to provide necessary advice to individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal services. Given the significant cuts in Legal Aid funding available to individuals, I am very pleased to be able to volunteer alongside the students to assist in providing essential advice across a wide range of legal issues”

Laura-Pauline says: “Having volunteered at a number of organisations providing advice to the local community for many years, I am thrilled to be able to help and support the Essex Law Clinic. The service offered is invaluable to those who need it and I look forward to working closely with them in the future”.

The Law Clinic has just announced a session whereby solicitors can, where possible, give advice directly to clients, so, in addition to supervising students, there will be opportunities for local solicitors to get involved with this as well.