To achieve our objectives we have a three year strategy in place (2019 - 2021). At the end of 2017 we carried out a strategy review, informed by consultation with our members, stakeholders, clinic co-ordinators and other partners.
LAWWORKS IN NUMBERS
- 150 members including large City ands international law firms and corporate in-house teams, regional and small high street law firms, law schools and charities
- Over 59,000 client enquiries at independent clinics in the LawWorks clinics etwork in the period from April 2017 to March 2018
- Around 40,000 clients given legal advice at clinics in the LawWorks clinics network in the period from April 2017 to March 2018
- Over 9,000 individuals volunteered across the LawWorks Clinics Network in 2018
- 238 Not-for-profits cases supported on by member firms and in-house teams in 2017
- 40 social welfare and professional skills training sessions delivered a year
- 1000+ solicitors and advisors attended training last year
We develop and support a number of pro bono programmes, including:
- The LawWorks Clinic Network - which provides free initial advice to individuals, predominantly in the area of social welfare law - e.g., social security, housing, family and employment law.
- The Not-For-Profits Programme - which connects small not-for-profit organisations in need of legal support with the skills and expertise of volunteer lawyers, strengthening the capacity of those organisations to deliver their services.
- Our Secondary Specialisation project is a pilot programme which trains and supports lawyers to provide in-depth advice and representation in under resourced areas of social welfare law - focusing on respresentation at benefit appeal tribunals and the legal needs for families and carers of children with life-limiting conditions.
- Legal and skills training to give volunteers confidence to advise at clinics and which can, where appropriate, contribute to ongoing CPD requirements.
We use evidence from our work with members and partners to advocate for change to policies that hinder the provision of free legal advice.
Our previous work includes:
- The introduction of the Pro Bono protocol - working with the legal profession and professional bodies to ensure pro bono work meets the highest standards
- Provisions in the Legal Services Act 2007 including pro bono costs orders
We are building a 'policy voice for pro bono, including:
- Co-ordinating a large group of organisations to inform a review of changes to legal aid, and courts modernisation
- Providing support for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pro Bono and Public Legal Education
- Seeking to change regulations on money and debt advice - this creates a barrier for some volunteer lawyers in being able to provide advice on debt issues at local clinics;
- Wider work on the regulatory landscape, including the SQE, new SRA Handbook, and regulations on in-house lawyers’ involvement in pro bono which restrict the scope of legal advice by in-house volunteers.