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    As an aspiring barrister, I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for good pro bono legal work that I can start getting involved with soon (i am a second year lawyer) and that will look good on the CV. Recruiters are always looking for something that 'stands out'.

    I am of course aware of FRU and will start the training for that asap.

    I hope this thread could be of general use and a good place to share ideas, since so many people are in my position.
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    I'm on the BPTC at the moment and they have lots of opportunties to participate in pro bono work.

    I think it really depends on what kind of law you want to do. If you want to do criminal things like the Innocence Project or volunteering in prisons is a good bet.

    I want to do commercial work and there is very little pro bono work out there with a commercial slant. Any ideas?
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    (Original post by andymt)
    As an aspiring barrister, I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for good pro bono legal work that I can start getting involved with soon (i am a second year lawyer) and that will look good on the CV. Recruiters are always looking for something that 'stands out'.

    I am of course aware of FRU and will start the training for that asap.

    I hope this thread could be of general use and a good place to share ideas, since so many people are in my position.
    Amy 757 is right, it would help to know what area of law you're thinking of going in to; you really have to tailor your CV to the type of set you're applying to. There is a lot of bro bono work with a family and criminal focus but very little (perhaps not surprisingly) with a commercial slant. Some commercial chambers may see someone with a lot of voluntary experience (or criminal experience) and question why they are applying to a commercial set. If you wanted to do commercial or civil law and have done pro bono work, a simple reference to it on your CV should be sufficient.

    FRU can be a dangerous thing to put on your CV. It is fine if you have carried out the training and acted in a number of cases but a lot of people tend to stick this on at the last minute after attending the training course and it doesn't look too good.

    If you wanted decent experience you could apply for marshalling at the High Court (not really bro bono unless you make the judge's tea).
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    (Original post by LibraryHomeCinema)
    Amy 757 is right, it would help to know what area of law you're thinking of going in to; you really have to tailor your CV to the type of set you're applying to. There is a lot of bro bono work with a family and criminal focus but very little (perhaps not surprisingly) with a commercial slant. Some commercial chambers may see someone with a lot of voluntary experience (or criminal experience) and question why they are applying to a commercial set. If you wanted to do commercial or civil law and have done pro bono work, a simple reference to it on your CV should be sufficient.

    FRU can be a dangerous thing to put on your CV. It is fine if you have carried out the training and acted in a number of cases but a lot of people tend to stick this on at the last minute after attending the training course and it doesn't look too good.

    If you wanted decent experience you could apply for marshalling at the High Court (not really bro bono unless you make the judge's tea).

    I would agree, at a dinner in Lincolns Inn a high ranking official said do CAB, but do it for at least two years and advise people. DO NOT do one training session and put it on their.
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    Exactly, the point is to not just dabble in pro bono just for the CV. I agree that the area of law should be an influence over the type of pro bono. However if it is legal (i.e. requires legal research like CAB, rather than being community based like prison volunteering) it will be a good addition to the CV nonetheless.

    I undertook work at a law clinic doing contract, employment law etc whilst at university and ended up applying at criminal sets. It was still relevant work experience as i did it for long enough (3 years) to show I had picked up key skills despite the fact the law I did was not crime.

    CAB is great for case work experience as is volunteering at your local law clinic. FRU is great for advocacy and is therefore suitable for applicants to any area of law.

    Aside from Pro bono, you may want to look at other things to bolster your CV as you are still at a relatively early stage of study. Marshelling (as has been mentioned previously), Mini-pupillages and/or volunteering (or placements) with solicitor's firms are all great way of gaining legal experience. I personally think working at a solicitor's firm is great for three reasons - 1)it gives you some grounding for the 'why not a solicitor' question, 2) it gives you an idea of how thngs work before the court stage, 3) if you can build good relations with them (i.e. if you volunteer with them over a long period of time) you show that you can potentially bring work to chambers.

    For all those looking for commercial pro bono I suppose FRU/CAB and their civil work areas would still be looked upon favourably? Mediation/dispute resolution is also quite popular and you could volunteer for any roles with such an aspect? Failing that, there are a few work experience opportunities (although not 'pro bono') that you could consider; placements with commercial Solicitor's firms or for full time paid positions some commercial Chambers hire research assistants (i think it is Quadrant chambers who do that from memory).
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    I have a question about pro bono - perhaps someone on this thread could help.

    I am looking to undertake some occasional pro bono work over the course of the next year to 18 months. This would be at weekends and/or in the evening (as I work full time). Ideally it would involve advocacy but I know this is unlikely to be possible through FRU as - I assume - social security and employment tribunals don't sit on saturdays. Does anyone have any alternative suggestions as to something appropriate to take on? I've looked at the CAB and FRU so far but nothing else.

    Any advice however brief much appreciated.

    Thank you.
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    Thanks everyone. Yeah im looking to go into crime so I'll try and sort some voluntary work out for this summer. I already have a placement with a commercial solicitors firm and ill try and get some experience at a criminal firm too, although this will be harder as they are smaller and dont have formal schemes. I think CAB is something I'd do on a year out (assuming ill need to take one at some point) because the training takes so long.
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    (Original post by andymt)
    Thanks everyone. Yeah im looking to go into crime so I'll try and sort some voluntary work out for this summer. I already have a placement with a commercial solicitors firm and ill try and get some experience at a criminal firm too, although this will be harder as they are smaller and dont have formal schemes. I think CAB is something I'd do on a year out (assuming ill need to take one at some point) because the training takes so long.
    You may be able to fit CAB around your studies, as i know several people at uni who managed to do that.

    Considering you are in your second year i would say that you are much better placed in trying to get a mini pupillage and doing some marshelling (which your uni may be able to help you organise.)

    I would also advise you to take part in any mooting competitions/debates that you can in order to get some advocacy experience (plus, uni's often organise prizes for best advocate etc and this will look great on the cv.)
 
 
 
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