Q: Who are your typical pro bono clients?
Usually they’re just ordinary people who are struggling, with little or no income, little education, sometimes no home and often children to support. The odds are stacked against them. In one case I acted for a full-time stay-at-home father in an application for parenting orders. He was a former electrician and he’d cared for his three-year old daughter since her birth while his wife was in full time employment, but after the separation he couldn’t find work.
Q: What motivates you to do pro bono work?
The case above is just one example of a range of matters taken on for needy clients which brought much job satisfaction and changed lives.
Q: What challenges are associated with your pro bono practice?
The client doesn’t always win, and that can be disappointing for them. But even then, you have given them their day in court which can mean a lot to them.
Q: What advice do you have for lawyers in small firms who are considering doing more pro bono legal work?
It’s a great way of obtaining valuable experience in a range of areas and that does help to build up your practice, as well as being good for your firm’s reputation.
But mostly it’s about going the extra mile for the client. Whatever happens at the end of the road, the solicitor knows when they have made a difference. Working pro bono provides an opportunity both for the solicitor and the client to do this.