In-house lawyers: How you can help

There are many ways that in-house lawyers can give their time and expertise pro bono. This applies to both solicitors and barristers. Whether you want to join an existing scheme or set up your own, the information below will help get you started.

In House Pro Bono Group (IHPBG)

The members of the In House Pro Bono Group share a collective belief that the provision of pro bono work is a professional responsibility for all lawyers. Supported by a Steering Committee, the IHPBG’s’s aims are to foster a culture of commitment to pro bono and promote and improve pro bono service and delivery.

In addition, they share knowledge, best practice and resources to build and strengthen in house pro bono service, connect in-house lawyers, charities and pro bono professionals through networking and communication, and collaborate to make the best use of a unique skillset and training for the benefit of others.

Spotlights on pro bono committees and projects carried out by in-house legal teams are available on the IHPBG website.

Sign the In House Pro Bono Pledge

Created by the In House Pro Bono Group, GC100 and National Pro Bono Centre, the In House Pro Bono Pledge is a way for companies to publicly demonstrate their commitment to pro bono and to take practical steps to ensure their legal teams can make a pro bono contribution.

The pledge is open to the GCs (and in-house legal departments) of all companies, endorsed by the In House Pro Bono Group, the GC100, the National Pro Bono Centre, Advocate, BACFI, LawWorks and TrustLaw. The National Pro Bono Centre helps people to sign up and maintains records.

Pro Bono Guide for In House Teams

In 2021 we were delighted to bring together the GC100 and In House Pro Bono Group to combine their respective guides to pro bono, resulting in the Pro Bono Guide for In House Teams, published in Pro Bono Week 2021 with the backing of LawWorks and the Law Society of England and Wales.

The Guide comprehensively covers setting a successful foundation for a pro bono programme, overcoming potential barriers, scoping a pro bono programme, building a pro bono infrastructure, and delivering pro bono advice.

In 2015, the GC100 (the Association of FTSE 100 General Counsel) published a useful paper on ‘Overcoming the barriers to in-house lawyers doing pro bono work’.

Guide to Pro Bono for Employed Barristers

This two page guide explains how employed barristers with practising certificates can undertake pro bono, and the key practical factors to consider.

It provides answers to common questions around insurance and conflict checks and is available to download.

The guide was produced in partnership with the Bar Council, the Bar Association for Commercial, Finance & Industry, the Free Representation Unit, the IHPBG, the Government Legal Department and Advocate,

Pro bono in retirement

Are you a retired lawyer? You can still get involved in pro bono. Giving your time and skills to provide pro bono advice in retirement can be of enormous value to those requiring assistance, as well as an equally rewarding use of your time.

With a wide variety of types of pro bono and volunteering opportunities available, you can ensure you find a commitment that best suits your capacity and interests.

We collaborated with Advocate and LawWorks to provide information on pro bono for retired barristers and solicitors. This addresses how retirees can get involved with pro bono work, and answers many commonly asked questions.