Event ideas and tips

Before you get stuck in, get inspired by reading about all the amazing events that took place in the last few years!

Ideas for firms / chambers

  • Pro bono talks: Talks on pro bono by a senior partner or a CSR manager on a particular project or case that has been undertaken during the year. This is the opportunity to celebrate a pro bono project whilst also updating everyone about the opportunities available.
  • Articles: Articles for in-firm/chambers newsletters – the week is a great hook to convince the editor to cover your work. Or use the week to publish impact reports.
  • Shadowing: Shadowing evenings at the firm’s pro bono clinic, or alongside regular pro bono practitioners. This is a great way to introduce new people to pro bono whilst also enabling networking.
  • Fundraising: Fundraising events for local Legal Support Trusts, law centres or local Citizens Advice. Join in any events run by the Legal Support Trusts.
  • Debates: Host a debate on the direction of pro bono. You could pick a controversial topic, such as “The pros & cons of targets”, or “Should pro bono be compulsory?”

Ideas for charities and advice agencies

  • Coffee mornings: You could run an “Open House” with coffee and cake for volunteers (and potential new volunteers!) during Pro Bono Week.
  • Awards/recognition events: We are sure you have unsung pro bono champions working on your projects. This is your opportunity to celebrate them.
  • Speaker events: You could invite a local (or national) pro bono star to talk about pro bono. This is a great way to engage with the wider pro bono sector in your area.
  • Articles: Ask to have your pro bono project or case featured in your local Law Society Newsletter or in other press outlets you have a relationship with.

Ideas for law schools

  • Awards/recognition events: This is your opportunity to celebrate the student pro bono stars in your law schools. Everyone loves receiving recognition and it’s a great way to publicise great work!
  • Speaker events: You could invite a local pro bono lawyer in to talk about the value of pro bono on students’ applications as well as to the local community.
  • Articles: Ask to have your pro bono project featured in your law school newsletter.

Outcome-driven planning and evaluation

For guidance on outcome-driven planning and how to evaluate success, see the evaluation workshop presentation.

Top tips for organising an event

  1. Collaborate! Take advantage of existing networks and communities
    • Get in touch with other pro bono lawyers and projects in your local area. Draw on the support of your local Law Societies, CILEx branches and local legal support trusts. These groups can often help you publicise events, and might even be able to help you organise events, or at least suggest ideas for speakers.
    • A special event might be just the occasion for a new partnership that develops and extends pro bono work in your local area.
  2. Don’t reinvent the wheel
    • We provide resources for Pro Bono Week events, including examples from previous years. These resources are there for your use!
    • We can help you with ideas, publicity and press releases. And if we don’t have it, just ask and we can look into creating what you need.
  3. Context is key
    • Pro Bono Week has themes and aims, but there is room for all kinds of events and activities. We know that there is a huge diversity of projects and programmes taking place across England & Wales, and what works well in Carlisle might not be the right fit for Bournemouth.
    • Please take what you can from our ideas and add your own local twist.
  4. Have a communications plan
    • Your event is unlikely to achieve its purpose if no one knows about it or hears about it. Develop a communications plan with clear goals and intended audiences.
    • Write letters to your local paper, send out a press release, send invites to your local journalists. And who knows – you might attract a new supporter of pro bono in the process.
  5. Have fun!
    • Be prepared, do your work, and when your event arrives, enjoy the fruits of your labour!