What is ProBono35?

The #ProBono35 campaign encourages barristers to donate £35 or more to Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) when you renew your practising certificate through the Bar Council's MyBar portal. 

We understand that the pandemic has hit some sections of the Bar very hard, but we encourage those who can to donate because it makes up almost 50% of our funding. Without it, we simply would not exist.

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 and its importance in providing access to justice for the most vulnerable. If you're still unsure, read stories about our applicants and hear from volunteer barristers about why it's such great professional experience. 

We cannot be a replacement for a properly funded legal aid system and we do not attempt to try.

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

We are your charity and you know us best. Some people want to donate their time and others prefer to donate financially. Many do both and we are incredibly grateful.

The financial help you provide will keep us going for another year and allow us to expand our reach to even more people in need. The pandemic is affecting us all - both barristers and applicants alike - but in 2020 we placed over 1,400 pieces of work. This is a 79% increase on the year before and a massive show of commitment to access to justice from the Bar.

Your support has real impact. One of our applicants told us: “I would like to extend a massive thank you. Without your help, mine and my child's life would have been devastatingly different. Your services saved us. We just cannot thank you enough.” 

What does it mean for Advocate?

When you join together with your peers to donate £35 each, you contribute almost 50% 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 five caseworkers, an assistant and an administrator, all with a passion for helping people in need. 

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! Thank you.