Free legal assistance

The Not-For-Profits Programme helps connect volunteer solicitors with small not-for-profit organisations in need of legal advice

How it works

Where a not-for-profit organisation needs help with a one-off legal issue, we match the organisation with a volunteer lawyer from our network of member law firms and in-house legal teams who can advise on that matter.  The advice is given for free (pro bono). 

Examples of discrete matters our volunteers can help with include:

  • drafting a contract
  • reviewing a lease
  • updating a constitution/articles, or
  • clarifying rights in a commercial dispute  

Our volunteers can advise on intellectual property, employment, property, tax, commercial/contract, insurance, insolvency, data protection, defamation, and company/charity law. 

Unfortunately our volunteers cannot help with choosing a not-for-profit structure, setting it up, or registering with the Charity Commission, but you may want to try another resource for such help (click here for legal structure resources).

How to apply

Applying for help is simple:

  1. Check you are eligible. Click here.
  2. If you are eligible, complete our online application form here.
  3. Email us your latest accounts.  

​We will then work with you to gather more information and see how we can help. 

What happens once an application is approved?

Once an application is approved, we try to find a volunteer to help within a few weeks.

After a case has been placed with a lawyer, the not-for-profit organisation is welcome to apply to LawWorks again in the future if it needs help, as long the request is for distinct, one-off advice rather long-term assistance.    

Who is eligible?

You will be eligible for our help if:

  1. You are a small not-for-profit organisation focussed on helping people who are in need in England and Wales. For some examples of not-for-profit organisations we give priority to, click here.
     
  2. The not-for-profit organisation cannot pay for legal advice, or would struggle to pay. We will ask about the organisation’s ability to pay for legal advice and look at the most recent accounts.  Read more here.
     
  3. You agree to our terms of service.These include being responsive and engaging with our evaluation processes.  Read more here.
     
  4. We are able to help with the request. Due to policy reasons and also the types of matters our volunteers are willing to assist with, there are unfortunately some occasions when we cannot help.  Read more here.

 

Application form

If you would like to apply for our help:

  1. Please complete our online application form. Please try to give as much information as you can in the form. 
  2. Email us a copy of your most recent accounts (or, if not available, a business plan showing projected annual income). Please email the documents to: [email protected] or alternatively upload your accounts to the application form.

 

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Not-For-Profits Programme, you can email us at: [email protected]

 

“Many small voluntary organisations can barely meet their core costs let alone pay for legal advice - LawWorks is an invaluable service.” (Not-For-Profits Programme applicant)