The power of pro bono in changing times

The second annual LawWorks’ Clinics Network Conference was held on 19th June 2020, and brought together clinic coordinators, supervisors and volunteers from different sectors, organisations and specialisms within the pro bono clinic community.

If you were unable to join us on the day, or missed a session, you can catch-up by watching the videos below.

Download the PDF icon LawWorks Clinics Conference Programme


Clinic trends: Find out what’s happening across the network

Resource: PDF icon Clinic trends presentation

Panel 1: Delivering differently

This panel discussed how technology can be used to assist delivering pro bono advice and enabling access to justice. Technology is no ‘silver bullet’ but can be helpful where in-person advice is not possible, and can be used to efficiently coordinate volunteers’ support. Panellists address the challenges and benefits of using technology.

Our thanks to Simon Davey, Omega Alpha and panellists: Martin Barnes, LawWorks; Kate Fazio, Justice Connect; Elizabeth Williams, University of Surrey and Adam Wyner, Swansea University. 

Panel 2: Meeting changing need

Our panellists speak about their experience of running two different models of pro bono advice projects; secondary specialisation and strategic litigation, which provide assistance to clients beyond initial advice. The panel considers how legal advice demand is likely to change in light of the pandemic, and discuss how these models are well placed to support clients’ needs for specialist advice in the future.

Our thanks to Diane Sechi, Simmons & Simmons and panellists: Matt Hunt, LawWorks; Tony Martin, BPP University and Sarah Michael, Sidley Austin.

Keynote: ‘Justice at a time of crisis’ Andrea Coomber, Director, JUSTICE

Panel 3: Maximising volunteer impact

Our third and final panel focuses on how pro bono projects can engage different volunteers in a range of roles. Sharing ideas on collaboration with different organisations, and inspire new forms of engagement and working. The panel also consider how best to support volunteers’ wellbeing at this time and coordinate supervision remotely.

Our thanks to Rebecca Wilkie, Litigant in Person Support Strategy and panellists: Jane Basham, Norfolk Community Law Service; Rebecca Greenhalgh, Ashurst; Tracey Horton, Staffordshire University and Deborah Smith, Goldman Sachs.

Future challenges and opportunities for pro bono, reflections on the day

The current crisis has been a catalyst for new collaborations and ways of working across the legal and advice sectors – including roundtable discussions on how the sector can work together to meet rising need, build resilience and sustainability, and speak to policymakers with one voice. The final session brings together these perspectives with reflections from the day, and a view to the future.

Thanks to Martin Barnes, LawWorks; Mr. Justice Robin Knowles CBE and Carol Storer, Legal Action Group.