SPBG launches research into university pro bono

SPBG launches research into university pro bonoThe Solicitors’ Pro Bono Group (SPBG) has initiated a survey of UK universities’ pro bono activities with
support from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.

The survey, launched in November, aims to identify the level of pro bono work taking place at university law faculties across the country.

Professor Richard Grimes, director of pro bono services and clinical education at the College of Law, is spear heading the study. He is taking a sabbatical in order to work with the SPBG.

“Supervised student pro bono work supplies a service to the community and is also an educational tool,” said Grimes. “Through the survey we want to identify universities that want to do more pro bono and help them achieve this.”

The results of the survey are due by the end of the year and it is expected that the first quarter of the new year will be spent analysing the results. Grimes hopes that the answers will help the SPBG put together a bid to fund a permanent post for a student pro bono officer at the SPBG and also a model for establishing pro bono activities at universities.

DLA Piper is sponsoring a project manager to help assist Grimes. Elaine Radford, head of corporate responsibility at the firm, said the study would provide a way to tap into the enthusiasm for practical work that can be found in universities.

She added that DLA Piper would look to support student pro bono services via its team of lawyers located throughout the UK.