The provision of advice and support to those who need it the most, yet who are often least able to afford it, is at the very heart of Irwin Mitchell’s pro bono philosophy. We believe that we can use our legal expertise to ‘give something back’ to our local communities. We have a team of pro bono champions from around the firm who each manage pro bono activity in their region.
Under our firm wide pro bono scheme we provide free legal advice and representation to individuals and community groups who can not pay and where public funding is not available. In addition, we support a number of community based schemes and initiatives that enable us to support hard to reach sections of the community. Our commitment earns us a place in the Legal Business Pro Bono Survey where we are ranked in the top 20 law firms in the country who spend the greatest number of hours working on pro bono activity.
Quite simply, our aim is to ensure access to justice for all.
Free Advisory Clinics
Much pro bono work is delivered by support to Citizens Advice and Law Centres across the country, in fact, in Sheffield, Irwin Mitchell was instrumental in initially setting up the South East Sheffield Citizens Advice Bureau over 20 years ago.
As part of our commitment to provide access to justice for all, Irwin Mitchell is determined to ensure that access to legal advice is truly available to all, specifically ethnic communities.
Free advisory sessions for the Polish community in the North East have seen the firm provide much needed support to this community that is establishing itself in this region. We have also been able to support numerous ethnic communities in the West Midlands and South Yorkshire.
Links With Students
We are committed in providing pro bono support and we believe that it is important to instil this ethic in the legal professionals of the future.
Links with local universities ensure that we are able to work directly with students and provide support for their pro bono projects. Schemes operate in virtually all of the cities in which we have offices. One example is the Pro Uno project that is run in conjunction with Sheffield University. Students are supported by Irwin Mitchell solicitors to provide a legal signposting service to the local community.
In Newcastle the firm awards the annual Irwin Mitchell International Clinical Scholarship to one student from Northumbria University. The money is used to support an exchange visit to Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where the student works on pro bono cases.
Irwin Mitchell is a member of the Pro Help scheme, facilitated by Business in the Community. This programme enables us to provide pro bono legal support to a wide range of community groups/organisations throughout the country.
"Irwin Mitchell are actively involved in Prohelp where professional firms offer Pro Bono assistance to community organisations." - Business In The Community
The team that assembled the website ProBonoUK.net included legal advisers from Irwin Mitchell and the Solicitors' Pro Bono Group, all working on a pro bono basis.
As well as giving support to those who currently give pro bono legal advice, the website aims to encourage more volunteers from all branches of the legal profession including students and law schools which increasingly include pro bono as part of clinical legal education.
Irwin Mitchell is a member of LawWorks- the operating name of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group – and a signatory to the pro bono protocol.
For more details visit the LawWorks website.
The PRIME Initiative
Our Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Sheffield offices are all involved in local PRIME programmes.
PRIME is a consortium of law firms aiming to improve social mobility in the legal sector. Along with law firms around the country, we've committed to make sure more people, from every walk of life, have access to the sector and are aware of the opportunities that are available to them. Through the scheme, we provide work experience to young people from less privileged backgrounds.
For more information, please visit the PRIME website.