The LawWorks Pro Bono Awards will be presented at the Awards ceremony to be held on Tuesday 7th December.
This guidance contains additional information to help you make a nomination.
How to nominate
Any firm, in-house team, organisation, clinic or individual can nominate itself or others for one or more of the categories listed. If you would like to make a nomination for more than one category, please complete a separate form for each nomination.
The deadline for nominations has been extended to 11:59pm on Thursday 7th October 2021.
To be eligible nominees need to be a member of LawWorks (joining as of 1st October 2021), but the pro bono work does not have to be delivered through a LawWorks project, programme or by a clinic in the LawWorks Clinic Network. The pro bono work of clinics in the LawWorks Clinics Network can also be recognised in the appropriate categories.
To make a nomination please complete the nomination form on the LawWorks website.
If you would like to make an offline nomination please download, complete, and return this document: LawWorks pro bono awards nomination form
Awards will be given to recognise the quality and impact of pro bono legal work.
The Awards judges will consider applications in the following categories:
- Best Contribution by a Small or Medium Firm
This award is for pro bono work undertaken by a sole practitioner, or a firm with no more than 29 partners. 'Partners' covers equity and non-equity – anyone classed as a partner within the firm, based in England & Wales.
- Best Contribution by a Large Firm
This award is for pro bono work undertaken by a firm with more than 30 partners. 'Partners' covers equity and non-equity – anyone classed as a partner within the firm, based in England & Wales.
- Best Contribution by an In-house Team or an In-house Solicitor
- Best Contribution by an Individual
This category includes pro bono coordinators and volunteer/pro bono lawyers (in sole practice, firms and in-house teams), as well as senior partners or general counsel who have championed pro bono legal work in a firm or an in-house team.
- Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award
The Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award recognises the pro bono work undertaken by a trainee or qualified solicitor with less than 5 years post qualification experience (current students are not eligible for this award as there are separate awards for students through the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Awards).
- The LawWorks Cymru Award
To recognise pro bono legal work being done in Wales by a LawWorks member firm, in-house team or by a clinic that is part of the LawWorks Clinics Network. The judges may give additional weight where there is evidence of effective partnership working.
- Best Contribution by a Pro Bono Clinic
To be eligible the clinic must be registered with the LawWorks Clinics network and providing legal pro bono. The clinic must be run by or in partnership with a member of LawWorks, or where at least one LawWorks member is volunteering with the clinic.
- Best International Pro Bono Award - in partnership with A4ID
This category can include any pro bono project or activity delivered outside England and Wales, for beneficiaries outside England and Wales. Special attention will be given to pro bono projects that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As LawWorks focuses on domestic pro bono, this is a special category that is awarded jointly with Advocates for International Development (A4ID), a global charity that works in partnership with the world’s leading law firms, providing access to the best legal advice for those engaged in the fight against global poverty. It is intended to recognise the cross jurisdictional work of members, many of which run a mixed portfolio of domestic and international pro bono projects.
- Best New Pro Bono Activity
This award recognises pro bono activity which commenced after 1st October 2019. The judges will in particular give weight to any innovative aspects of the project or activity.
Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership
This category can include in-house teams and law firms or individuals working in partnership with clinics, charities and not-for-profit organisations, advice agencies or others. Additional weight will be given to partnerships which are innovative and/or creative, including (for example) consultation with potential beneficiaries on identifying need or project design. A nomination can be made for this category if the partnership includes a firm, organisation or individual who is not a member of LawWorks, so long as at least one member of LawWorks is included.
We recognise that this has been an exceptional and challenging year due to the impact of coronavirus. In all the above categories, consideration will be given to nominations that have been responsive to the issues and legal needs presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, and overcoming barriers and challenges. This will be particularly relevant for the ‘Best New Pro Bono Activity’ category.
Criteria for nominations
To be eligible, nominees must meet the following requirements:
- Nominees are a member of LawWorks (as of 1st October 2021); for the ‘Best contribution by a pro bono clinic’ and ‘Best new pro bono activity’ categories, a clinic registered with the LawWorks Clinics Network can also nominate or be nominated for. Membership of LawWorks includes the partners, associates, trainees, and employees of a LawWorks member organisation.
- Except for the ‘Best international pro bono award’, the legal pro bono work was for individuals and/or organisations or communities in England and Wales (please note that this is not restricted to participation in a LawWorks project or programme). For the 'Best international pro bono award', we do require that at least one England and Wales lawyer has been involved in the pro bono work (that might, for example, include a pro bono co-ordinator in the relevant firm).
- Nominations should include evidence of benefit and impact(s). This can include:
- A description of the pro bono activity undertaken – e.g.,
- the identified need or the presenting problem(s);
- the intended beneficiaries or clients;
- the nature or type of legal work or advice given and/or action taken;
- the outcomes or impact(s) achieved;
- evidence demonstrating improvements for individuals or local communities, such as the number of people who have benefited from the pro bono legal work; and
- A supporting statement(s) – if possible - from a beneficiary or a partner/stakeholder.
If there is any information submitted which you do not wish to see included in a summary in the published awards brochure or would like to approve before inclusion, please mark this clearly on your nomination form.
You can nominate yourself or your own organisation or another individual or organisation.
All nominations will be judged by an independent shortlisting and judging panel, whose decision will be final.
Judging and awards ceremony
Shortlisted nominees will be notified as soon as possible in advance of the Awards ceremony planned to be held on Tuesday 7th December.
The judging panel for the awards includes:
- Manda Banerji, Chair of the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division
- Yasmin Batliwala, Chief Executive of Advocates for International Development
- Clare Carter, Chief Executive of the Access to Justice Foundation
- Deborah Piccos, Chair of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates
- Paul Rogerson, Editor of the Law Society Gazette
- Lubna Shuja, Vice president of the Law Society of England and Wales
- + TBC
Need to get in touch?
If you have a question about the awards, please contact:
We look forward to receiving your nominations!