No to Pro Bono?

We get calls about cases which fall outside the scope of LASPO most days now. Like yesterday they invariably involve the type of issues, faced by vulnerable clients, for which Legal Aid was envisaged. Equally invariably there is no easily realsiable loophole. Result? – you guys end up doing more and more pro bono representation.

I asked my latest questioner if that was she was going to do and she said “Yes, of course”. I know that represents a big majority of likely answers to the same question.

This, however, got me wondering if this is the right answer. A “no pro bono” campaign writes itself; send client with a personalised standard (TLS) letter to the Court, or to their MP, CCd to a friendly local reporter, explaining the circumstances and pointing out the inequality of arms. Most importantly putting the onus on other elements of the state to “sort it out”. I understand the “can’t turn clients into political pawns” and officer of the Court objections, but LA firms are not charities.

We need the knock on human impact and the cost implications to other parts of the justice system to be as visible as possible.

The 3 most recent examples we have dealt with would all make genuinely shocking media tales. It is precisely this, however, which makes LA lawyers do the job for free instead.

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