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‘The Ethics of Pro Bono’ seminar – LawWorks & University of Bristol

November 3, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotle, Ethics

This half day seminar, run jointly by LawWorks and University of Bristol Law School, looks at the ethics of pro bono. This goes beyond the “codes of conduct” that bind the legal professions, and will discuss the moral principles and motivations of working to improve access to justice through clinics and clinical legal education, as well as the practical challenges of ethics for pro bono clinics.

It will be of value to all those (whether you’re a researcher, clinic co-ordinator or practitioner) interested in ethical questions that may arise in a pro bono context – both in theory and practice. 

9 am – Introduction/welcome

Professor Stephen Mayson – the ethics landscape in light of his report on the “Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation”

9.15 – 10.15am – Panel session 1: Doing legal ethics

Every day pro bono clinics put ethics into practice – helping for free those needing legal advice, responding to a growing need, and serving the public good (“pro bono publico”). The introduction session will hear reflections on the ethics of pro bono, and the positive story that clinics have to tell.   

Chair – John Peake (University of Bristol)

James Sandbach (LawWorks)
Elaine Hall (Northumbria University)
Nathan Fitzpatrick (Law Centres Network)
Victoria Channing (Simmons & Simmons)


10.30 – 12pm – Panel session 2: Clinical practice in an ethical context

Running pro bono clinics can be challenging, there are issues of regulation, university governance, training, support and sustainability to navigate – ethics matter, clients matter, and volunteers matter. The panel will discuss practical challenges within an ethics landscape, and panellists will consider how ethics, standards, regulation and education intersect. Panellists will then move into smaller Q & A breakout rooms with attendees to discuss these issues in more detail, raise challenges, air frustrations and consider solutions.

Chair – Richard Pitkethly (LawWorks)

Richard Moorhead (University of Exeter)
Omar Madhloom and Andrew Charlesworth (University of Bristol)
Jane Jarman (Nottingham Trent University)
Tim Cave (East Greenwich Legal Advice Clinic)
Valerie Robertson (The Law Society of England and Wales)

11.50 am – 12pm – Wrap up, next steps and close

John Peake (University of Bristol)


Online event
United Kingdom


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