The Solicitors Pro Bono Group has launched a new award for legal education providers.
It is hoped that the award, which is run in association with Attorney-General Lord Gold-smith and is being supported by Lawyer 2B, will help encourage institutions to improve their pro bono offering.
As revealed by Lawyer 2B in this issue (see page 23), the UKs top law schools are failing to offer their students the chance to undertake pro bono work.
A Lawyer 2B survey of 20 universities and law schools found that the majority do not run pro bono activities for their students.
The findings suggest that it is predominantly the older universities that are less inclined to run pro bono schemes. As former polytechnics, the new universities have a tradition of offering practical, vocational courses.
In many cases the students have been forced to establish programmes themselves. In the last issue of Lawyer 2B, student pro bono enthusiasts revealed the problems they encountered when trying to do their bit.
The Solicitors Pro Bono Group 2002 Student Challenge winner Kate Borrowdale created the Oxford Institute of Legal Practices pro bono programme herself after discovering that the school did not have its own programme.