The Solicitors in Local Government group has agreed a historic partnership protocol with charity LawWorks which will see the two organisations work together to promote pro bono work throughout local government.
The SLG said it was interested in developing appropriate pro bono opportunities for its membership. In particular, it is looking for pro bono opportunities which:
- Do not create conflicts of interest
- Do not require any commitment that any particular case or opportunity should be accepted
- Require expertise in appropriate areas of law.
Under the agreement, SLG committed to facilitating communication between LawWorks and the SLG National Executive and in particular its regional branches. It also agreed to promote LawWorks and pro bono work, circulate specific cases or opportunities, and endorse the joint protocol for pro bono work.
For its part, LawWorks said it was keen to work with SLG “in maximising the potential of the regional profile of the SLG membership”. It agreed to provide appropriate opportunities for SLG members and recognise their contributions.
The joint protocol for pro bono legal work agreed by the two organisations sets out the core values of such work and is intended to help those lawyers who get involved.
The document addresses issues such as how the work should be done, relationships between pro bono organisations and lawyers, the contribution of people who are not fully qualified or otherwise unable to do pro bono legal work, and the importance of pro bono legal work as a characteristic of being a member of the legal profession.
SLG chair Guy Goodman said: "SLG is very keen to promote pro bono work as it is something that traditionally local government solicitors have not participated in - and there is no good reason for them not to do so. LawWorks provides a wonderful opportunity for local government practitioners to make a contribution - large or small. Give it a go and see."
Writing on this site before Christmas, LawWorks chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said local government lawyers have “an immensely important role to play in pro bono” and highlighted some of the ways in which they can contribute.