Advisor News: SYLA x Panel

By Anna Gren

Last Tuesday, I travelled through to the CMS office in Edinburgh to speak on behalf of the Clinic and (PBS) about the Pro Bono work I am involved in. This event was coordinated by the Scottish Young Lawyers Association in connection with Pro Bono Week 2023.

The key theme was “Changing Lives Through Pro Bono” and we discussed the importance of doing Pro Bono work in the legal field, especially with the decline of Legal Aid support.

I was joined by an advocate, Emma Boffey and trainee, Jay Elder, who also offered an interesting insight into how Pro Bono has transformed their careers.

A key takeaway from the discussion personally was a statement made by Emma. From the minute we become law students, we are highly skilled individuals with the ability to help those in less fortunate positions than ourselves. Spending a few hours a week might not mean much to us, but for many of our clients, it means the world. This really reinforced the positive impact we as students can have on the wider community and the importance of offering the services we do at the Clinic.

In an ideal world, Pro Bono work would not exist due to sufficient funding in the legal sector. However, this is not the case and we as students have a real opportunity to make an impact with the work we do. It takes someone with real drive and passion to advocate for others, and this discussion emphasised the significance of getting involved.

A huge thank you to everyone involved in the event. It was a great opportunity to discuss something which I believe is fundamental in the legal field.