The Pro Bono Committee meets regularly in London to discuss and arrange its activities. Members based outside London can join meetings by phone. If you are an ELA member and interested in joining this committee, please email Head of Operations, Lindsey Woods.
ELA has long recognised the importance of pro bono work in the employment law field and has played a significant role in developing pro bono services in the field. Through the Pro Bono Committee, we have helped to establish a more co-ordinated approach between existing pro bono schemes. The Pro Bono Committee’s aims are to encourage and make possible pro bono work in the field and to help ELA members who want to do more pro bono work.
Pro bono work offers a way of giving something back to the community. It is particularly important in employment law cases which often raise issues of great importance for individuals who cannot gain access to advice or representation and where legal aid is not available.
Pro bono cases often extend the range of a lawyer’s work, keeping him or her in touch with interesting and challenging areas which their paid practice may have moved away from.
Providing advice and representation which enables otherwise unrepresented parties to present their cases efficiently and effectively helps the whole system to run more smoothly, and brings public benefit. Many test cases, some of which have become household names in the employment world, would not have happened if the lawyers had not acted pro bono.
Pro bono work in the employment field can be done in many different ways. The schemes ELA has developed and support, along with details of how to get involved, are outlined here.
The aim of the ELA 100 days project is to match those ELA members who would like to get advocacy and more hands on ET experience with deserving cases for unrepresented parties, often struggling with a lack of knowledge and expertise.
ELA members are invited to get involved the 100 days project by filling in the online pledgee form (or email this information to email@example.com, as outlined on the right) offering a day (or more) of pro bono assistance in the next year, either via a day’s advocacy or a day’s casework.
These are fortnightly evening clinics which we are piloting in several regions and which we are working to roll out to more regions. Advice clinics are currently operating in Cardiff, Birmingham, Bristol, Bury (South Manchester).
They are manned by ELA members. These clinics offer members an opportunity to gain valuable pro bono experience, thereby expanding their experience and enriching their own practice. At the same time, it allows those who could not otherwise afford it access to specialist employment law advice.
New Advice Clinic
ELA is currently assisting LawWorks to set up a new clinic in Kentish Town, London offering advice in, amongst other areas, employment law.
Find out more about ELA Employment Advice Clinics.
LawWorks (the operating name of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) is a national charity which aims to provide free legal advice for individuals and communities in need which cannot afford to pay for such help. To help LawWorks further their aims, ELA supports a variety of their projects, through which ELA members have a variety of pro bono work to choose from.
Find out more about ELA Joint Projects with LawWorks.
Paul Daniels, Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP (Chair)
Ruth Badrick, Stewarts Law LLP
Cyril Dennemont, Harold Benjamin Solicitors
Emily Gibbs, North Kensington Law Centre
Sally Gill, The College of Law
Nicola McMahon, Charles Russell LLP
Katharine McPherson, Lewis Silkin LLP
Lisa Moses, LawWorks
Lindsey Poole, Free Representation Unit
Victoria Speed, BPP Law School
John Wiggins, Mary Ward Legal Centre
Emma Wilkinson, Citizens Advice
Rebecca Wilkie, Bar Pro Bono Unit