City-supported law centre training scheme launches

A law centre training scheme backed by City firms and the magic circle will formally launch tonight, after starting to train students last month.

Pro Bono Community gained widespread industry support earlier this year and is now supported by Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie, Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, Clifford Chance, CMS Cameron McKenna, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May (28 May 2013). 

The community aims to provide law centres with resources in the form of well-trained law students while also enabling students to take full advantage of their experiences at a law centre by equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate the often poorly-resourced centres.

Its founders, 1 Essex Court (chambers of Tony Baldry) pupil Oliver Hyams and Bakers trainee David Dowling, established the community after working at a law centre and Citizens Advice Bureau themselves.

Hyams told Lawyer 2B earlier this year: “Law centres do incredible work, and we want to be able to help make their job easier. The courses are being designed to reflect the practical skills and essential legal knowledge law centre volunteers require.”

The community is also supported by BPP University College, The City Law School, Kaplan, London South Bank University and the University of Law’s Legal Education Foundation.