Bar Pro Bono Unit
The National Pro Bono Centre
48 Chancery Lane
DX 188 London Chancery Lane
The Bar Pro Bono Unit is a national charity that match-makes members of the public who cannot afford a barrister and cannot obtain legal aid with barristers happy to volunteer their services free of charge. The Unit makes it possible for barristers to balance a dedicated practice with making a significant contribution to the community.
We are the sole pro bono charity to provide legal assistance in all areas of law, across all levels from tribunal through to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Our panel of volunteer barristers are based across England and Wales, and we now have almost 3,500 barristers on our panel, including a third of all QCs.
The Unit is an application based service which members of the public can access via referral from advice agencies, law centres, or their local MP who may help the applicant complete the form which can be downloaded from our website. The Unit ensures that in each case, the barrister providing assistance is of the same expertise and experience as would be expected in a paying case.
Every application is subject to the same rigorous procedure of checking, reviewing, communicating with the applicant, allocating to a barrister where appropriate and closing down once the work is complete.
LawWorks supports lawyers to volunteer their professional skills to assist individuals and community groups who cannot afford to pay for legal help and who are unable to access legal aid or other forms of financial assistance. Access is through a network of free legal advice clinics, information of which is available on the website.
London Legal Support Trust,
The National Pro Bono Centre,
48 Chancery Lane,
The London Legal Support Trust (LLST) is an independent charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in London and the South East.
LLST supports the provision of specialist legal advice through law centres, advice agencies and citizens advice bureaux by providing them with grant funding alongside other forms of support.
Funds are raised from fundraising events, including the London Legal Walk as well as some ad hoc donations from law firms and chambers. In addition to funding we offer our knowledge, contacts and experience of the sector to help agencies become more sustainable.
The Legal Support Trusts support the provision of specialist legal advice through law centres, advice agencies and citizens advice bureaux, by providing them with grant funding alongside other forms of support.
The Legal Support Trusts below receive and distribute monies received from the Access to Justice Foundation, and also engage in their own fundraising activities, including sponsored legal walks, and distribute the funds raised to those services in greatest need.
The Eastern Legal Support Trust (ELST) is a grant-making charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in the Eastern region (including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk).
The Midland Legal Support Trust (MLST) is a grant-making charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in the Midlands (including Shropshire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland and the West Midlands).
The North East Legal Support Trust (NELST) is the local arm of the Access to Justice Foundation, and raises funds for free legal advice services in the North East (including Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Country Durham).
The North West Legal Support Trust (NWLST) is a grant-making charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in the North West (including Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester).
The South West Legal Support Trust (SWLST) is a grant-making charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in the North West (including Bristol, Hampshire and Devon).
The Yorkshire Legal Support Trust (YLST) is a grant-making charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in Yorkshire (including North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and South Yorkshire).
Reaching Justice Wales: Cyrraedd Cyfiawnder Cymru (RJW) is a grant-making charity that raises funds for free legal advice services in Wales.
The Access to Justice Foundation was set up by the legal profession to improve access to justice for those most in need. We do this by raising funds and distributing those funds to pro bono and advice agencies throughout the country to support the provision of free legal advice.
The Foundation was established in 2008 by the Law Society, Bar Council and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, working with the advice sector. The Foundation has always been a charitable organisation established with the purpose of funding free legal advice throughout the nation and increasing access to justice.
Our goal is to make legal advice accessible to everyone no matter their financial standing. We do this by providing financial resources to the free legal advice sector. We are the prescribed recipient of pro bono costs under section 194 of the Legal Services Act 2007 and also raise funds through other schemes such as the ‘It’s not just peanuts’ campaign.
We are a national organisation, working closely with a network of seven Legal Support Trusts around England and Wales to ensure valuable resources can be targeted exactly where they are most needed. Receiving the legal advice they need makes an enormous difference to people’s lives, helping to reduce debt, poverty and suffering.
CILEx Pro Bono Trust works to facilitate delivery of pro bono legal services by CILEx members. We do this by working with other pro bono providers to develop schemes suitable for CILEx members, signposting members to pro bono opportunities and providing training and other support.
Pro Bono Community is a new charity that has developed a specialised training programme for law students, trainees and junior lawyers aimed at preparing them for volunteering in Law Centres and other advice agencies.
The charity has identified a need for a structured training programme that provides Law Centres and other advice agencies with volunteers who possess the knowledge, skills and commitment to assist their activities without requiring undue levels of support and supervision.
The course provides students with an introduction to advice work in Law Centres with an emphasis on interpersonal and practical skills. In the first few lectures, the course looks at the background to the sector, client care, triaging techniques and recent welfare reforms before focussing on a range of welfare rights law topics serving to contextualise the work that students will undertake as volunteers and establish a framework upon which they can develop their knowledge.
Legal Action Group
National Pro Bono Centre
48 Chancery Lane
Legal Action Group is a national independent charity that promotes equal access to justice for all members of society who are socially, economically or otherwise disadvantaged. We seek to improve law and practice, the administration of justice and legal services through our publishing and training programmes as well as policy and campaigning work.
The Litigant in Person Support Strategy
The National Pro Bono Centre
48 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1JF
The Litigant in Person Support Strategy was created to provide additional support to help Litigants in Person facing civil or family court proceedings. The aim is to make help visible and available so that Litigants in Person can do three important things
1. Know what support is available to them
2. Access appropriate practical support and information
3. Have a route to some free or affordable legal advice
The first phase of the project focused on extending existing services for Litigants in Person through Law for Life, the Personal Support Unit, LawWorks and RCJ Advice. However, the premise of the Support Strategy is that through networking, collaboration and shared thinking, we will all be stronger and more effective in meeting the needs of Litigants in Person, and therefore the second phase of the project therefore focuses on creating an effective support network for all those organisations and individuals working in this area.
LIPSS oversees and coordinates the Litigant in Person Network, is a new online platform which connects a cross-sector group of professionals with a common goal of improving access to justice. This group includes members of the advice sector, legal professionals, academics, the judiciary, court and tribunal staff.
Just Fair monitors and defends economic and social rights in the UK. Economic and social rights include the rights to food, adequate housing, education, health, social security, to water and sanitation, and to work. Just Fair monitors compliance with international human rights law, lobbies authorities and conducts training to empower groups and rights-holders.