#25for25: 340 barristers complete the Pro Bono Challenge to celebrate Advocate’s 25 years  

#ProBonoHeroes

To celebrate our 25th anniversary year, and as we look to develop access to justice for the next 25 years, we invited barristers to take part in #25for25: The Pro Bono Challenge. And you signed up in your hundreds!

From Volunteers’ Week June 2021 to Volunteers’ Week June 2022, barristers were encouraged to complete 25 hours of pro bono assistance for our 25th anniversary.

340 barristers, from 127 different Chambers across England and Wales, provided an incredible 15,000 hours of pro bono support. 

The 25 hours (or more!) of pro bono support each of our 340 barristers donated has had a remarkable impact on the lives of those who applied to Advocate for help. You really are #ProBonoHeroes. 

We want to extend our utmost thanks to ALL of the barristers who took part in the challenge.
All 340 of you!  

Mark Fenhalls QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said: “The Bar Council congratulates Advocate for their 25-year anniversary and the successful yearlong #25for25 Pro Bono Challenge. Pro bono work enables barristers to gain experience across the Bar while also supporting people who are struggling to access justice. Just 25 hours of volunteering makes the world of difference; I would encourage everyone at the Bar to find the time to do some pro bono work.” 

Sir Robin Knowles CBE, Chairman of Advocate, said: “Without charge, barristers volunteer their advice and their advocacy every day to help those most in need. This is part of what makes the Bar the exceptional profession it is; and it develops every barrister concerned. The #25for25 pro bono challenge is the latest success story in serving the public interest.” 

Meg Pennycook of City Chambers, one of our #25for25 completers, said: ”Providing pro bono representation has given me the opportunity to develop my experience at appeal level. It has also ensured that previously unrepresented litigants, without the means to pay, have been able to obtain legal advice and representation. The #25for25 approach is an inspired one as giving up just 25 hours is manageable, no matter how busy you are. It is well worth making the time, as there is such value to lawyers, litigants and courts in just 25 hours of pro bono work.” 

With challenges mounting, the number of applications for assistance is likely to continue to increase. However, the Bar continues to show its commitment to access to justice. Over 600 barristers have assisted with over 1,000 pieces of advice, drafting and representation through Advocate alone in the last year, with further pro bono assistance provided by duty schemes and in other ways behind the scenes. 

Your continued efforts mean the world to our applicants; 

I am so grateful that there are people like you in the world. You bring a much-needed light for people who through no fault of their own, find themselves sometimes in the darkest of places. 

All 340 barristers who completed the #25for25 challenge received the following logo for their email signature and individual Chambers profile. They will also get a named mention at the Bar Pro Bono Awards in November 2022. 

thank you 25 for 25

If you're on Twitter, help us by showing your support for the #25for25 challenge with a tweet. Make it your own by starting "I support the #25for25 challenge because...” and tag us @WeAreAdvocate to inspire others to get involved! #ProBonoHeroes
 

Get Involved 

This Volunteers’ Week, can you get involved by taking on some pro bono work?

If you haven’t signed up to Advocate yet, you can do so hereConsider browsing our website to view our full case list here.

If you need a login to the website, please get in touch with us at kgriffin@weareadvocate.org.uk  

You will make an immense difference to someone’s life, and our celebration doesn’t end with 25 for 25, there will be plenty more opportunities to receive recognition for your contribution.

 

Rebecca Wilkie, CEO of Advocate, shares her thanks with everyone who has taken part.