The ethics of pro bono

A second nation-wide lockdown is now less than 48 hours away.  Many of our fellow citizens will as a consequence face unexpected and unwelcome legal issues, and I suspect many of their needs will be met through pro bono provision.  

I was therefore honoured and delighted to offer some opening thoughts this morning to a very important and timely seminar hosted by LawWorks and the University of Bristol as part of Pro Bono Week.  I was invited to share my reflections on the two-year Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation that I concluded in June and the associated landscape of legal professional ethics. Here are those reflections (also available as a PDF).

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Lifting the LETR from the doormat

This morning’s seminar on reforming legal education and training, hosted by Westminster Legal Policy Forum, provided a timely opportunity to reflect on the progress so far of the Legal Education & Training Review (LETR).

The lead for the LETR, Professor Julian Webb, rightly reminded us that the function of the Review is to address the question of how best to regulate legal education and training – specifically, the scope, reach and proportionality of that regulation. He said that, so far, responses to the LETR discussion papers had reflected vested interests, and had demonstrated limited consensus and offered little in the way of alternative vision.

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Challenges for the Legal Education and Training Review

If we are to make the most of the opportunity presented by the Legal Education and Training Review, we need to be clear about the background against which it is conducting its work.  We also need to acknowledge the nature of some of the fundamental issues which must be addressed if the review is to be effective and command respect for its conclusions and recommendations.

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