By Kimberley Fisher, Sheffield Hallam Law Student
At SHU Law Ltd we are committed to providing Pro Bono Legal services to the community. Working Pro Bono allows us to introduce students to the concept of providing free legal advice and representation. Pro Bono allows us to provide access to justice to individuals and communities while encouraging the transformation of students and communities.
What is Pro Bono?
The term ‘pro bono’ comes from the Latin phase ‘pro bono publico’ which simply translated means ‘for the public good’.
Pro Bono work is legal work which our Solicitors and students at SHU Law undertake without receiving payment. Some examples of the pro bono work SHU Law undertake are: giving advice at drop in clinics, representing clients in legal matters, and providing a help desk to support the community.
Ethics of Pro bono
Sometimes there is a misunderstanding regarding Pro Bono work, many people believe that free legal work means mediocre work. However Pro Bono does not define the standard of care and the same level of service is given to both paying clients and pro bono clients. At SHU Law all our clients are Pro Bono which means we put all our clients first and our competence and performance is always at its highest.
Pro Bono work is particularly important for making the justice system accessible to everyone. At SHU Law our values are to represent those in the community who would usually be overlooked by other law firms. However at SHU Law if the legal matter is important to the client then it is important to us. We strive to help provide vulnerable community members with the level of service and the results they deserve.
This brings with is a huge benefit to our Law students at Sheffield Hallam University. Working within SHU Law helps our students to gain needed skills, but also will help to encourage them to continue to carry out Pro Bono work themselves. This ultimately helps others in the community gain access to the justice system.
Finally, at SHU Law we understand how transformative this experience is. We are confident that while our students are increasing their knowledge and developing their skills, their perspective and opinions will change. This means that by the end of their time with us many will continue to work Pro Bono work even after becoming qualified Lawyers due to the fulfilment of helping others.