Pro bono stories

Everybody loves a good story. Writing and collecting them is essential for providing examples of and celebrating the hard work of pro bono professionals and helping to garner both media attention and funding. The NPBC can provide a freelance story writer to organisations that do not have the capacity to write and collect their own.

Featured Story

Refugee brings fraudster to justice and lands huge pro bono costs order: Fatima’s story

When local shopkeeper Derek* discovered that Fatima*, an elderly woman, was desperately trying to help her family emigrate to the UK from Afghanistan, he persuaded her that he could help them be granted an entrepreneurial visa if they invested in his business. Fatima believed him.

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Victim of torture settles in UK: Thiraviyarajah’s story

Thiraviyarajah is a Tamil who was persecuted and tortured in his home country of Sri Lanka. He sought sanctuary in Australia in 2013 but was captured trying to enter. Held for years in various detention centres, he ended up on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, which was reported to have appalling conditions, and a huge self-harm and suicide rate among the refugees held there. 

Wheelchair user ejected from nightclub: Nathan’s story  

When Robert and Nathan Gale had some good news, they headed to town to celebrate. However, their night out in Glasgow came to abrupt end when they were refused entry to a nightclub they had visited many times before because the venue said it not accommodate wheelchair users.

Criminal complaints dropped in Guatemala after community disrupted by gold mine: Crisanta’s story

Crisanta lived in a quiet farming community of indigenous Mayan people in Guatemala, close to a gold mine. In 2005, the gold mine operator erected a powerline which local families claimed was installed on their land without consent.

Unmarried woman wins battle for widowed parent’s allowance: Siobhan’s story

John had made enough National Insurance contributions for Siobhan to be entitled to a bereavement payment and a widowed parent’s allowance. However, because they had never married or entered a civil partnership, the Northern Ireland Department of Communities told Siobhan that she was not entitled to the money.

Pro bono team secures suitable council housing for severely disabled child: Samantha’s story

After fleeing domestic abuse, Samantha* and her three children were housed by the council in a two-bedroom temporary flat. Samantha’s eldest son suffers from Pompe disease, a deteriorating muscle condition that means he requires constant care. The accommodation did not meet his needs, and he was unable to use his wheelchair or frame there.

Mother secures school place for a disabled child in first education law case for legal advice centre: Joely’s story

Joely* is a child with complex sensory needs and autism. When her local authority allocated her to a school that wouldn’t be able to meet her needs, her parents wanted to appeal the decision, but knew they would need help.

Young man facing criminal charges cleared with help from inquest pro bono scheme: Liam’s story

*Liam, a young man in his early 20s, was the driver of a car involved in a fatal accident. When he turned up at Coroner’s Court to give evidence about the death of the other driver, his behaviour was erratic and he had trouble recalling the accident.

Abused mother accused of child abduction wins custody battle: Ava’s story

After Ava* moved abroad with her husband and young daughter, her husband became financially and psychologically controlling and abusive. He would drink and take drugs, while Ava was working three jobs to support the family.

FRU student volunteer wins £25,000 for client in employment claim: Anita’s story

It is not only seasoned lawyers who can take on pro bono cases. Law students are keen to help vulnerable clients and gain valuable legal experience by volunteering and being supervised by qualified lawyers.

Fighting for integrated education in Northern Ireland to encourage a more peaceful future

Back in 2012, Drumragh was the only integrated Catholic/Protestant post-primary school in the district of Omagh, Northern Ireland. There were so many people who wanted to send their children there that Drumragh submitted a development proposal to the Department of Education. It was denied.

Law firm’s 70-year pro bono commitment conserves art, culture and history

Many pro bono cases involve a lawyer coming to the urgent aid of an individual who is suffering because they cannot access justice. Sometimes, however, lawyers commit help to an organisation on a longer-term basis. This is an exceptional illustration of the latter.

Refugee brings fraudster to justice and lands huge pro bono costs order: Fatima’s story

When local shopkeeper Derek* discovered that Fatima*, an elderly woman, was desperately trying to help her family emigrate to the UK from Afghanistan, he persuaded her that he could help them be granted an entrepreneurial visa if they invested in his business. Fatima believed him.

Offer: Help to write your pro bono stories

A good story is essential for charities that enable pro bono work. Writing and collecting case studies, profiles and spotlights is a powerful way of delivering positive messages about the impact of pro bono work. It also helps garner much-needed media attention and funding, helping ensure future growth.

It is also an extremely useful tool for the often unrecognised lawyers who carry out repeated free legal work. Sharing the benefits is crucial for encouraging more lawyers to join in.

The NPBC can provide a freelance story writer/content provider to help organisations that do not have the time or resources to produce their own pro bono case studies.

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