Jordans Family Law Awards

The Trust is very honoured to have been asked to be part of the judging panel (which comprises members of the National Pro Bono Centre) for the Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year. The Award is one of 19 prestigious Awards launched by Jordans Publishing to recognise the important work of family lawyers, and celebrate their many successes and outstanding achievements and past CILEx President Fran Edwards (herself an experienced family lawyer) is one of the main judging panel.

The Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of Year Award will be awarded to the individual whom the panel believes is the most worthy winner in light of any external nominations/testimonials, the quality of the pro bono legal services offered, recent reported cases in which the individual has acted and how their pro bono initiatives or services have benefited the community.

All types of lawyers are eligible for nomination so (calling our JIB members in particular!) if you are doing pro bono or working with someone else who does then do nominate here.

The Awards, which recognise a wide range of contributions from all parts of the profession both nationally and at regional level, will be handed out at a black tie dinner at the Ballroom South Bank on 29 November.

Also of interest to CILEx members will be the Family Law Chartered Legal Executive or Paralegal of the Year (the latter ensuring all members of CILEx may be nominated) Award which will be determined by online votes. Many CILEx members do family work and this is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the difference so many people make to the lives of others.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 23 June 2017 so there is no time to waste!

Horizon Legal Advice Clinic – Vacancy

Horizon Legal Advice Clinic, provides free legal advice to members of the public in the Barking & Dagenham and Newham areas.

The focus of its clinic is on Personal Independence Payment (“PIP”) & Employment and Support Allowance (“ESA”). It recently concluded a pilot scheme for the clinic between October 2016 and Jan 2017, and will be scaling up on Tuesday 21 March 2017 in order to help even more clients. To cope with the increased number of clients the clinic will help, it would like to bring on board a clinic supervisor with expertise in PIP and ESA.

For more detail about the role* please click here but note the deadline has been extended as the Clinic have not yet found the right person for the role.

*The criteria listed mandate the applicant is a solicior with a practicising certificate so CILEx members should clarify that before applying

Access to Justice

One of the (many) reasons lawyers choose to do pro bono work is because of their fundamental commitment to the rule of law and the concept that this mandates access to justice for everyone.

Readers may therefore be interested in the interim report issued today by the Bach Commission* on Access to Justice which is available to download here. The report argues that, based on the extensive evidence heard to date, cuts to legal aid have created a two-tier justice system in which the poorest go without representation or advice. Setting the agenda for the final report, it proposes that minimum standards which ensure access to justice is a reality for all should be developed and enshrined in public policy.

There is a good deal more work to be done and to be sure of being able to accomplish that work, the Commission is looking to raise some additional funds to maintain indispensable research and secretariat support services. If you are interested in supporting the work then take a look at its crowdfunding page.

*I declare an interest as a member of the Commission …

CILEx Pro Bono Survey 2016

For the 15th time, National Pro Bono Week has served as an impressive reminder of the enormous contribution the profession as a whole makes to access to justice through pro bono work. Many of our members already do pro bono work and many more would like to but face barriers in doing so.

As mentioned in a recent article in the CILEx Journal, the CILEx Pro Bono Trust is keen to explore the detail behind those rather general statements. Ideally, we would ask every single member of CILEx what they do but that isn’t terribly practical. Instead, we’ve designed a short survey and we’re asking as many CILEx members as possible to complete it so we can try to identify what pro bono work our members are doing and, if they are not doing any, what the barriers are.

The survey should only take a few minutes to complete but you can preview the questions if you’d like to prepare before answering. In particular, if you have done some pro bono over the last 12 months, we will ask you to estimate the amount you have done. You may therefore want to do a little reflection about this before starting the survey.

Besides helping us collect this important information, completing the survey may earn you some dosh. There are 3 prizes of Amazon vouchers to be won; a top prize of £100 and 2 more of £50. To be eligible for this prize* you need to complete your entry and include your email address by midnight on Friday 9 December 2016. Please spread the word.

Click here to review the questions

Click here to do the survey


*The winning entries will be selected by random draw after 9 December 2016 by the Trustees whose decision will be final. Only paid up members of CILEx are eligible for the draw and current serving trustees of CILEx Pro Bono Trust may not enter the draw.

National Pro Bono Week 2016

Representatives from CILEx, the Law Society and the Bar Council discuss the importance of pro bono work carried out by the legal profession, consider their experiences of doing pro bono and outline ways for individuals to get involved.

Watch video

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