What is Pro Bono?
Pro bono work is legal advice that is provided free of charge by legal professions. This support tends to be given to charities, individuals or groups who cannot afford the cost to seek legal advice. Law students should utilise some of their free times to support vulnerable people. This is a great way to give back to society but is also a way for you to broaden your communication and interpersonal skills and expand your network.
Volunteering at Clapton Drop-In Centre
During my first term of my LLB degree, I took the opportunity to volunteer at Clapton Community Drop in Centre. The centre provides support and help to people in the community who are struggling to maintain or regain a safe and secure life. My responsibility was to provide varied support to different individuals. It ranged from helping on issues such as rent, benefits and housing crisis. My role would vary from week to week for example on one week I would be drafting formal letters to government agencies and another week I would be signposting people to relevant organisations.
By volunteering at the Community Centre, I was able to use my skills that they were in short supply to help people that needed it the most. This experience allowed me to develop key skills that would be required of me as a future lawyer. For example, I gained experience in face-to-face client contact and was able to enhance my research and drafting skills. This will prove to be beneficial when applying for future jobs as I can demonstrate how I am a suitable candidate.
Internship at Law Firm
Through volunteering at the Community Centre, I was able to develop my CV by adding more experience and skills. This proved to be beneficial because during the Christmas break, I was looking for internships in law firms. As a result, I sent my CV across to multiple firms and informed them that I was looking for an internship. I was lucky enough to receive an email from a firm who wanted to meet up in-person in order to discuss my CV and see if I was the right fit for the company. I was fortunate enough to be given a position and what stood me out was due to the fact that I used my initiative to seek volunteering opportunities during my first year at University.
A note to first years
There are many opportunities for you to give back to society. One of the biggest tips is to organise your time efficiently when juggling both your studies and volunteering. It is very important to build upon your experience and students should start this from early on in order to build your CV so it is ready for you when you graduate.
Written by Anisa, Second Year LLB student