by Annamaria De Felice
A national Pro Bono guide has been launched by the Faculty of Advocates’ Free Legal Services Unit (FLSU), the Law Society of Scotland and JustRight Scotland.
Described as the “infant cousin of the Guide to Pro Bono in England and Wales,” by Neil Mackenzie, convener of the FLSU, this free resource aims to identify gaps within the current legal system and to share useful information so that people are aware of all the kinds of free legal advice services available across the country.
This is the first time all these sources of free legal help in Scotland have been brought together in one updated directory, and its authors have described the guide as a “pilot” project which they hope will help maximise the impact of limited resources by pooling information about who provides pro bono legal services and encouraging a coordinated effort to collect, analyse, share and use data to identify gaps.
“That way, we not only increase the chances of the people in need finding the services they need, but also help to coordinate the efforts to meet that need,” Neil explained.
The new guide marks an important step towards working collectively to signpost people to the pro bono resource or organisations which might be best placed to support people from diverse communities. Jen Ang, Director of Policy and Development at JustRight Scotland, added: “We are delighted to be part of this project. It’s an important first step in making better use of valuable pro bono resources to increase access to justice for people across Scotland. This guide paves the way for a more equitable and just society, where access to legal assistance is not a privilege but a fundamental human right.”
Launched during Pro Bono Week 2023, the guide is now accessible here.
Solicitors, advocates, members of organisations and institutions are invited to contribute to this pilot project by emailing comments, additions or corrections to email@example.com.