How much time do I have to commit?
We ask all panel members to commit to helping for a minimum of three days each year, though some will do a lot more. As a volunteer you will only be contacted with cases that fit your expertise and experience and you can decide whether you are able to assist.
How experienced do I need to be?
We accept panel members from the second sixth of pupillage to QC. Every case the Unit accepts specifies the number of years call needed from a suitable volunteer.
Am I obliged to take on a case that the Unit contacts me about?
No, we understand that you may not be available to take on a particular piece of work. Which cases you choose to assist with is entirely up to you.
What happens when the Unit accepts a case I could do?
The Unit may telephone your clerk or contact you directly enquiring as to your availability and interest in that piece of work.
I may be able to take on a case, what happens now?
The caseworker will send you the relevant papers to consider, together with the Unit's review. We ask panel members to get back to us with their decision within 48 hours of receiving the papers.
I have agreed to do a piece of work on a Unit case, what are the next steps?
The applicant is given your details and details of the assistance which the Unit has authorised you to provide. You are instructed directly by the client via the Unit's direct access licence. A client relationship will so arise and the Unit drops into the background unless there is a specific issue with which we can help.
When I commit to helping on a case do I need to see it to completion?
No. The Unit authorises work on cases on a step-by-step basis and you will only be asked to complete defined work, not to make an open-ended commitment. If you wish to take on any further work in connection to the same case this may be possible however the Unit will have to re-review the file to approve further work before that assistance is given.
What are my professional obligations in pro bono cases?
By agreeing to take on a piece of work from the Unit you commit yourself to treating it with the same care and attention given to any other piece of paid work. The Bar Pro Bono Unit jointly developed the Joint Pro Bono Protocol to set out best practice standards for pro bono work. To view this please click here
To go straight to our registration form click here.
If you have any queries or wish to discuss any of these or a new idea with a member of the team at the Unit please contact us.
Organise Your Own
Organise your own sponsored event by arranging a fun filled event that can be enjoyed by everyone. While raising funds for the Unit, you can also get colleagues, friends and family involved in a great cause. You could organise a sponsored walk, run, summer fair....
A friend of the Unit, Caroline Levonian, has raised over £900 for the Bar Pro Bono Unit by participating in a 48-hour long dance ceremony. Fifty-five dancers from around the world were invited to give back to their local, national and global communities by gathering sponsorship for their nominated charities. The event was co-ordinated by the School of Movement Medicine.
Got any ideas? Please contact Mary by email: email@example.com.
The Bar Pro Bono Unit is an independent charity which relies on donations to meet all its running costs. We are very grateful to all those sets of Chambers, organisations and individuals who already help us. Their details can be found on the our supporters page. Gifts made on a regular committed basis (for example by standing order) are particularly appreciated, as they allow us to plan properly for the future.
The Unit can increase the value of any donation from a tax payer by 28% where a Gift Aid form is completed.
To make a donation by standing order or by cheque, please download the donation form, complete it, and return it to the Unit.
Please give generously to help us continue our work – all donations are gratefully received and acknowledged.
"Knowing we were properly represented has enabled us to be more at peace as a family."
The Bar Pro Bono Unit is an independent charity which relies on donations to meet all its running costs. We are very grateful to all those sets of Chambers, organisations and individuals who already help us.
Donations made on a regular committed basis (for example by standing order) are particularly appreciated, as they allow us to plan properly for the future. When a Gift Aid declaration is completed, at no additional cost to yourself, we can receive an extra 25p for every pound that you give e.g. a donation of £100 is worth £125.
To request a standing order form please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A regular or one off donation however small is gratefully received and will enable us to continue to offer pro bono legal assistance.