Celebrating National Pro Bono Week


The Law Of... doing pro bono work

In case you haven't heard, it's National Pro Bono week!

Samantha Hale, Associate Solicitor in Education and Community Care, explores why National Pro Bono Week is a great opportunity for us all to reflect on the amazing pro bono work carried out that enables the most vulnerable to get access to justice.

Samantha Hale, Associate Solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP explores National Pro Bono Week

What Is Pro Bono Work?

There are countless unsung heroes in charities, law centres, as well as individual solicitors and barristers who voluntarily offer free legal advice and assistance to vulnerable individuals who would otherwise not be able to access justice – this is known as pro bono work.

In 2015 – 2016, The Law Society found that solicitors provided an estimated 1.8million hours of professional legal services to those who weren't able to access legal advice.

For the 15th year in a row, these people and organisations are being recognised for all of their efforts.

Supporting Pro Bono Work

Our Education Law team – @SM_EduComCare – have good relationships with these unsung heroes that some of our clients benefit from, when we are unable to assist them under public funding or if they cannot afford legal assistance.

"From personal experience, I try where I can to do pro bono work" Samantha comments.

"So far this year, I have represented at the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and participated in pro bono advice clinics."

"I am currently running an appeal to the Upper-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) pro bono, and am working with a barrister who was also willing to work pro bono."

"This case is challenging a very important legal point that will not only help my client, but also other parents and without this pro bono assistance they would not have been able to pursue their case."

"Given the importance of this case and having discussed it with the barrister, we decided that we were happy to work on this case pro bono."

Praising Samantha's role in the case, her client said:

"Samantha Hale is the only person who is supporting us and without this help my son would be out of school and I would have had a nervous breakdown. We have tried to get support from every single direction from the Local Authority, the NHS, and through multiple local and national charities. It is only through Simpson Millar, and in particular Samantha, that I have found someone who follows through and advocates for us in a way that has made a positive difference."

Commenting on why she chooses to do pro bono work, Samantha says:

"Whilst I haven't done as much pro bono work in comparison to the amazing unsung heroes out there, it is something that I am proud of."

"I feel inspired by National Pro Bono week to increase the amount of pro bono work I do in the next 12 months, so that I can help those who are most vulnerable."

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