UK-based organisation LawWorks has recently launched a scheme under which lawyers who have lost their jobs can become involved in pro bono work.
LawWorks is an independent charity, funded by members' fees, donations and grants, which aims to increase the delivery of free legal advice.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of LawWorks told Lawyers Weekly the organisation has had a huge response to the scheme and is currently engaged in sorting out the infrastructure for volunteers.
"The work before the launch involved putting into place insurance arrangements and an agreement for the Law Society to provide a limited number of practising certificates free of charge," she said.
"We have also launched a 'Guaranteed Interview Scheme', under which participating firms have agreed to give an interview when recruiting again to any lawyer who has completed above a minimum threshold of pro bono hours."
There has been a significant increase in applications for pro bono work this year, said Hilsenrath, with applications from charities and community groups up by 50 per cent and 300 per cent more demand from individuals.
Depending on their area of expertise, some of LawWorks' lawyers have had more capacity to help and there has been an increase in requests from members for pro bono cases, she added.
- Sarah Sharples