BPP hires full-time pro bono head for legal advice centre

BPP Law School has appointed its first ever full-time pro bono chief as it bids to ramp up its clinical activity with the launch of an in-house legal advice centre.

Kara Irwin, who has taken up the newly-created role of director of pro bono, joined the school last month from the International Bar Associations Human Rights Institute, where she worked as a legal specialist on various projects in southern Africa.

Prior to this, Irwin was a capital markets associate at US firm Shearman & Sterlings London office, with responsibility for pro bono development.

BPPs centre will open this month. The initiatives it will offer have yet to be finalised, but there are a number under consideration.

One is to offer advice to businesses as well as individuals. Because BPP offers the City LPC, it was felt that advising businesses would fit in with the schools commercial focus.

Irwin is also investigating the possibility of students supporting and advising people using mediation and litigants in person.

The centre will also be a resource unit for pro bono activity, providing books, information and relevant numbers for students keen to take up pro bono work.

Irwin commented: The school sees pro bono as being an essential part of any lawyers legal training.

I think that the school is really keen to make sure that students coming out from BPP have recognised its importance.

Unlike the College of Laws pro bono activity, the BPP pro bono programme is entirely extracurricular and is not linked to any of the schools courses.

The programme will be available all students, be they full-time, part-time or distance learning.