Report on Pro Bono Week 2023

During November 2023, 62 public and internal events involving an estimated 3,000 attendees took place across the UK to encourage and discuss the role of the lawyers in volunteering to provide legal assistance to those in need. These were accompanied by various stories on legal outlets and posts on social media and websites. Law students from around the UK volunteered to act as rapporteurs to take notes at most of the events, from which the following points have been distilled to summarise some of the key topics and themes that emerged. The Great Legal Bake also took place during Pro Bono Week, raising much needed funds for advice agencies.

Pro Bono Week saw a substantial volume of media articles and social media posts. You can check out our daily Wakelets highlighting some of the best bits of Pro Bono Week 2023: day 1day 2day 3day 4 and day 5.

Law students from around the UK volunteered to act as rapporteurs to take notes at most of the events, which have been distilled into a report summarising the discussions:

You can also see a summary of the key publications from legal press to the professional bodies’ websites:

You can see details of all of the events that were part of Pro Bono Week 2023:

The themes chosen for Pro Bono Week 2023 were:

  • Changing lives through pro bono – Exploring how and why lawyers and law students across the UK transform lives through pro bono, including celebrating inspiring examples of pro bono and exploring the business case for legal volunteering.
  • Maximising the impact of pro bono – An opportunity to think about how to measure pro bono and to maximise its impact through, for example, collaborative projects responding to crises; focussing early advice on debt or housing; partnerships with the healthcare sector; incorporating evaluation into projects.
  • Pro bono within ESG: from climate to sustainable development – Pro bono will be explored as a pillar of an Environmental, Social, and Governance strategy, including how lawyers can help tackle the climate crisis, and how the Sustainable Development Goals can be championed.

You can also read the report on previous Pro Bono Week 2022.