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UK Pro Bono Week 2020 Round-Up

In what has been an intense and bizarre year for many communities, the sense of positivity created by UK Pro Bono Week was a welcome constant in 2020.

Public health guidelines may have required a shift online, but the virtual nature of this year’s PBW calendar also removed geographic barriers and allowed us to attend a more diverse spread of events than ever before.

As a result, the PILS Project’s team began the week networking remotely in a virtual conference room, before attending the official UK Pro Bono Week launch event from the comfort of our own sofas.

Collaboration has always been a key feature of how the PILS Project work. As part of UK Pro Bono Week, we were delighted to partner with the Law Society of Northern Ireland in hosting an online session on 4 November.

Created specifically with newly qualified barristers and solicitors in mind, our panel discussion focused on the power of pro bono for your CV. COVID-19 social distancing rules have removed the usual ways of networking with colleagues and the panel discussed the pandemic’s impact on the profession and asked if pro bono can help fill this gap?

Read the Five Lessons from Pro Bono Week 2020 blog here.

In reality, one week is never long enough to talk about the range of possibilities that pro bono volunteering can offer – both to legal professionals and local NGOs.

Plus, our 4 November event revealed that many solicitors and barristers still have questions about what volunteering their time pro bono really looks like in practice.

For that reason, the PILS Project organised The Truth about Pro Bono – a webinar designed to bust a series of long-standing myths about pro bono work. On 12 November, a panel of legal professionals and human rights NGOs gathered online to share their own personal pro bono experiences.

In the panel’s eyes, the truth about pro bono is that it is a collaborative, flexible, creative tool that can be used to unite legal minds and human rights activists to create real social change.

Find out more in our Truth about Pro Bono event summary here.

If you’re reading this and are a solicitor or barrister in Northern Ireland who would like to share your expertise with local human rights organisations, then get in touch with the PILS Project team. We’d like to tell you more about joining the PILS Pro Bono Register: