By Anna Gren
On the 9th of November, myself and four other advisors from the Clinic travelled down to London for a Pro Bono Week event hosted by Probonoskills.com at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, featuring a talk from Dame Elizabeth Gardner KC (Hon), parliamentary counsel.
The event offered a great insight into the work law clinics are doing across the country as well as the work practising solicitors and Parliament are doing to promote access to justice. Dame Elizabeth Gardiner stressed the importance of Pro Bono work in light of funding being cut for Legal Aid across the country, as those undertaking this work are a key element of the legal profession. Without law clinics and solicitors offering Pro Bono work, many clients would be left unrepresented, unheard and unable to move forward. Therefore, it is paramount that the work we do is accessible and digestible for all clients.
Another key element of the discussion around Pro Bono work was how we define success. As quoted “don’t measure your success in wins and losses, but in the access to justice you are providing for your clients.” As advisors, it is important to remember that a win for a client may not always be a monetary value, but the feeling of being valued and listened to. Many clients will have nowhere else to turn and so by listening to and empathising with clients, this can already be a small win in their mind.
Pro Bono Week 2023 was centred around how Pro Bono work changes lives. By offering free legal advice and representation to clients, we are helping to overcome the barrier in accessing justice for clients in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. As the week draws to a close, it is important to remember the impact we as advisors have on the wider community and just how needed this work is.
A big thanks to Probonoskills.com and Akin for arranging for us to attend. It was great to see all of the fantastic pro bono work going on in law clinics across the country!