LawWorks Clinics Network Report 2019

LawWorks supports a growing network of local independent pro bono advice clinics across England and Wales. Every year, LawWorks publish a LawWorks Clinics Network report based on data collected from across the network, providing details of the pro bono advice and assistance carried out by clinics participating in the LawWorks Clinics Network.

This report provides an analysis of pro bono legal advice work delivered across the LawWorks Clinics Network between January and December 2019. Over this period, clinics in the LawWorks Clinics Network responded to 77,550 inquiries, with clinics providing support to over 70,000 people. The recording period does not cover what has happened since Covid-19, so we have instead included some examples of how clinics have responded quickly and adapted to be able to continue to provide pro bono services.

Whilst pro bono makes an important contribution to enabling access to justice, the report underlines why pro bono it is not – and should not be seen as – an alternative to legal aid.

PDF icon Download the LawWorks Clinics Network report 2019

The main findings are summarised below:


  • By March 2020 there were 287 active clinics across England and Wales in the LawWorks Clinics Network, an increase of 25 from last year.
  • Most clinics (90%) offer initial advice, with many clinics also offering written advice, form filling, casework and representation.
  • Almost half of the clinics in the network (49%) are attached to law schools.


  • During 2019 there were 77,550 separate enquiries received by clinics across the network, compared to 75,907 enquiries received over 2018.
  • Of the 70,261 people helped by clinics in 2019, 37,551 clients (53%) received legal advice, and 32,710 were given information or referred to other services.

Areas of law

  • 29% of the advice provided was on family law, with employment and housing law as the next largest advice categories.


  • Over 9,000 individuals volunteered at clinics across the LawWorks Clinics Network


The report includes data on client demographics from a sample of clinics, further insights into client trends from a representative sample survey of clinic co-ordinators, and some previous reporting on client outcomes.

  • 55% of clients were women, 31% were from black and minority ethnic communities, and 20% were identified as having a disability.
  • Over half (51%) of clinic co-ordinators who responded reported increased demand, and over a third (37%) reporting an increase in the number of clients with multiple problems or problem clusters, with 31% reporting an increase in the complexity of legal matters.
  • Our most recent outcomes monitoring project, based on a representative sample, found that over 75% of clients reported that, as a result of the information or advice they received, they felt more confident in dealing with their problem and had a better understanding of their situation.

Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of LawWorks said:

"This report is being published at a time of continued crisis and uncertainty, as we come to terms with both the short and long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. There has never been a more important time to ensure that people, often the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities, receive the support they need, including access to legal advice and information. Pro bono is a profound expression of volunteering, the devotion of time, experience and skills to help those in need. It is something for which the many thousands of lawyers, law schools, law students and other volunteers across the Clinic network should feel immensely proud, even more so today.”


Date of publication

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Date last reviewed

Thursday, June 25, 2020