“I donate my ProBono35 to Advocate because everyone should have the chance to present their case in the best possible way, with the help of a barrister.” – Amanda Pinto, Chair, Bar Association

What is ProBono35?

The #ProBono35 campaign encourages barristers to donate £35 to Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) when you renew your practising certificate through the Bar Council's MyBar portal. Just this once, we're asking you to think inside the box!

How do I donate?

You don’t have to do anything! The £35 donation box is pre-ticked. If you want to give more than £35 you can, and if you also complete your address, we can claim gift aid from HMRC, making your donation worth an additional 25% at no cost to you.

Why do barristers contribute to us annually?

We were set up in 1996 by barristers, for barristers. Lord Goldsmith QC said he founded us to “build on the existing strong and proud tradition of the Bar providing its services free to those who need help and advice”.

Barristers have told us they believe in the ethos of the charity, it doesn’t cost much to donate £35 and they believe in access to justice. If you're still unsure, read stories about our applicants and hear from volunteer barristers why it's such great professional experience. 

Why do we ask you to donate as well as volunteer?

We are your charity and you know us best. You know what we do, how we do it and we ask you for just £35 to help us deliver the best service possible to those in need, as well as to get better at supporting you.

We realise that many of you already help us by volunteering your time and we're incredibly grateful for that. The additional financial help will keep us going for another year and allow us to expand our reach to even more people in need. We received over 2,000 applications for help in 2019 and expect even more in 2020.

Your support has a real impact. One of our applicants told us: "You kind of saved my life. I never said it before but you were amazing, so thank you. This case was so important to show that people like me can win! I couldn't have done it without your support."

What does it mean for Advocate?

When you join together with your peers to donate £35 each, you contribute 40% of our running costs. Many people don’t realise that a £35 donation can amount to so much. This simple donation from the Bar allows us to fund six caseworkers and an administrator. Without it we simply could not get people the access to justice they need.

  • £80.20 provides a day of support from an Advocate caseworker; sifting and organising new applications, supporting vulnerable litigants-in-person struggling to understand what is ahead of them, answering issues from barristers and clerks considering taking on specific cases, offering guidance to our in-house student volunteers and packaging up cases to be shared with interested Counsel.
  • £155.13 could cover the cost of running our daily public-facing enquiries helpline for a whole week in 2020.

Join this year's campaign

As the number of individuals applying to Advocate for legal assistance continues to increase, we ask you to remember this chance you have to help people in need get access to justice, and to donate your #ProBono35 when you renew your practising certificate.

If you're on Twitter, help us remind everyone else, and show your support with a tweet. Make it your own by starting "I donate my #ProBono35 to @weareadvocate because...." and inspire others to keep the box ticked!