Pro Bono Publico means for the ‘good of the public’. Legal pro bono work involves providing free legal assistance to members of the public who would otherwise be unable to afford it. Students in the School of Law are actively involved in serving the local community in this way – and develop their legal skills in the process. At Queen Mary there are two ways of get involved with pro bono work, through either the Queen Mary Pro Bono Society or through our Legal Advice Centre.
The Queen Mary Pro Bono Society
The Queen Mary Pro Bono Society (QMPBS) is a student group created by students for students. More than 250 students are involved in the QMPBS from their first year through to their final year at Queen Mary. As students develop their skills and legal knowledge, they are able to become involved in increasingly challenging and hands-on projects.
The Queen Mary Pro Bono Society has well-developed links with the London legal community. Students have the opportunity to volunteer at organisations that provide pro bono legal advice and to ‘shadow’ solicitors. Placement programmes operate through partnerships with leading law firms such as Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, SNR Denton, Clifford Chance and Reed Smith LLP. Queen Mary runs a Streetlaw Programme, which is based on a US model to provide an outreach volunteer programme to local schools and communities. Students visit primary and secondary schools to teach pupils relevant parts of the law. The Society also offers exciting opportunities in international law, in the past students have worked with organisations such as A4ID and Lawyers Without Borders.
The Pro Bono Society publishes a monthly student newspaper called 'The Advocate', which includes articles from Queen Mary academics and students as well as external lawyers.