Will Tinkler works at Eversheds Sutherland and has been volunteering with the Cardiff Lawyers Care project since 2021. The project is a partnership between the Wallich, University of South Wales, Cardiff and District Law Society and LawWorks. Cardiff Lawyers Care provides legal advice to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Will took the time to tell us about his experiences of pro bono volunteering.
Q. How did you first get involved with Cardiff Lawyers Care?
A. My colleague, Tom Black, who is involved with the Cardiff and District Law Society, mentioned the Cardiff Lawyers Care clinic to me. I was keen to get involved as it gave me the chance to help to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I’ve been volunteering with the clinic several times a year ever since.
‘I think people worry that pro bono volunteering will be too much and get in the way of their day jobs, but I’ve found volunteering with Cardiff Lawyers Care accessible and manageable’.
Q. How do you find the experience of volunteering with the project?
A. I find it very accessible. I think people worry that volunteering will be a big time commitment and get in the way of their day jobs. CLC is flexible and allows you to volunteer as much or little as you would like to. It also helps that I can join appointments on Teams so I don’t have to travel. The staff at the clinic send out rotas and client details in plenty of time which is also really helpful.
Q. What do you find most rewarding about working with the project?
A. It’s rewarding to be able to give initial guidance and signposting to people who have no one else to talk to about their issue. I also enjoy speaking with the students from University of South Wales who volunteer with CLC and helping them to think through the legal issues.
‘It’s rewarding to be able to give initial guidance and signposting to people who have no one else to talk to about their issue.’
Q. Have any clients or cases particularly stuck out for you?
A. I spoke to one woman whose legal issue had actually been resolved but she was really worried because ultimately she still had addiction issues. That bought home how complicated people’s lives can be, and how legal issues interact with so many other problems they may be dealing with.
Many thanks to Will for speaking with me and for his dedication and commitment to the project!
Cardiff Lawyers Care is still accepting volunteers, if you would like to find out more about their volunteering opportunities contact firstname.lastname@example.org.