On the 28th of September 2022, the Centre for Access to Justice Student Pro Bono Committee (SPBC) and the UCL Law Society co-hosted a pro bono fair at the central hub of Bentham House. The objectives of the event were to introduce the internal and external pro bono opportunities to the freshers, and to engage them in such meaningful endeavours that empower the underserved legally. The turnout of the event was excellent, compromising of a hundred over freshers and second-year law students.
The event started off with a talk delivered by Emilia Kechiaga (Law Soc Pro Bono Officer/ SPBC LLB Engagement Officer) and Jane Chan (SPBC Executive Chair). The talk addressed the bridge between the provision of free legal services and the justice gap. They also highlighted the role of pro bono in promoting the rule of law. The student project leaders, namely Charmaine Chang and Keren Hammelburger (Amicus), Jizheng Tan (LWOB), and Richelle Khor (JLAP), were invited to give presentations about their projects and recruitment drives. It was then followed by an interactive session with the committee members at the booths, during which the attendees learnt about the mission of each project, past events, and the members’ personal pro bono experience.
Overall, the event was a major success. The attendees demonstrated great passion about partaking in pro bono initiatives. It was also rewarding for the committee members to receive positive responses from the attendees. Pro bono is an essential element of lawyers’ professional obligations; students who aspire to make a social impact are encouraged to commit to the cause from law school onwards. The SPBC would like to thank the CAJ Office and the UCL Law Society for their cooperation in the planning and execution of the pro bono fair.