Leap in pro bono among newly qualified solicitors

More assistant and associate solicitors are doing pro bono work than ever before according to Law Society research*.
In 2013, 45 percent of all newly qualified solicitors are providing pro bono services, up from 36 percent in 2012.
This year, an equal proportion of newly qualified solicitors and solicitors at partnership level provided pro bono services.
Overall, 44 percent of Practice Certificate holders had undertaken pro bono work in the past 12 months. The average number of pro bono hours worked by PC holders over the past year was 45 hours, a slight decrease on the 47 hours reported in 2012.
There was also a slight increase in the number in-house solicitors providing pro bono work, but this is still comparatively less than private practice.
Although more solicitors are undertaking pro bono work in 2013, the overall value of that work has gone down. This is in part due to fewer hours per solicitor, the fall in the number of private practitioners and the increase in junior solicitors with lower charge rates.
The pro bono work of private practice solicitors was valued at £488 million in 2012, representing 2.1 percent of the total turnover generated by solicitor firms.
Law Society president Nicholas Fluck said:
“Pro bono is hugely important to ensure access to justice for the most vulnerable of people. It is extremely positive that more solicitors are dedicating time towards this work.
“It is really encouraging to see the newest members of our profession undertaking pro bono work and it bodes well for the future of this vital service.”
The Law Society is proud to support the 12th annual National Pro Bono Week, which runs from November 4th- 9th.
Pro bono work is at the heart of the legal profession, carried out to protect those who need legal services but cannot afford to pay for them. National Pro Bono Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution lawyers make, free-of-charge, to many people in acute need. Solicitors, barristers, chartered legal executives and law students regularly volunteer free expert advice and assistance. to assist individuals and communities here and abroad.
7 November 2013

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