All week we have been celebrating the voluntary contributions made by members of the legal profession to pro bono legal service. Here at Sheffield Hallam University our applied approach has seen us commit to this for in excess of 20 years. We have played an invaluable role in educating our students as to the importance of providing pro bono legal advice to those most in need and unable to access legal advice elsewhere. This originated in the Law clinic and in more recent years has morphed into a more formal and regulated practice here at SHU Law.
What we have learned through that journey is that the students play a vital role in resourcing our pro bono activities and that we are starting to see a legacy of commitment to this as they advance into their chosen careers. However, for the vulnerable clients that we service its apparent that there is still a wide gap between public funded and private funded legal matters and that the role of pro bono lawyers are being called upon more and more. We take our hat off to colleagues who have operated in this voluntary sector making a valuable contribution to what sometimes feels like a drowning tide of demand and urge everyone to recognise these people as second to none as opposed to second class. Let’s keep fighting this cause and making a difference to those that need our help and where possible lets work together in doing this.