Duncan Lewis Solicitors are pleased to announce that they have been shortlisted for an award in the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards 2015 under the category “Best contribution by a law firm”.
Duncan Lewis will be up against several other high-profile Law Firms in competition for the award, which recognises and celebrates outstanding contribution to Pro Bono work by the winning Firm.
Throughout the course of 2015 Duncan Lewis have demonstrated a continuing commitment to Pro Bono work, which has culminated in them being recognised as the Law Works Firm of the Month in February. This prestigious award is in recognition of their ongoing Pro Bono work and support of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group.
Duncan Lewis has been providing the local community in East London with essential Pro Bono legal services for over six years. The Duncan Lewis Pro Bono Clinic, which is held in the evening between 17:30-19:30, provides attendees with free legal advice covering legal areas including Housing, Immigration, Employment, Welfare Benefits, Child Care/Family and Civil Litigation. Advice is delivered by specialist legal advisors who volunteer time to help vulnerable people access legal advice they otherwise could not access.
The Clinic is driven by the belief that legal redress should be less complex and more accessible. In a broader context it is the continued hope that individuals without the means to do so are not unjustly fettered from fairly resolving their legal issues as without the same, there cannot be said to be access to justice. With this shared commitment to those directly within the community around us, our clinic can only continue to go from strength to strength.
In addition to the work conducted in-house and in support of the development of the wider community, specifically young students in the East London borough, the firm has forged a partnership with the University of East London (‘UEL’); assisting with the students’ own Pro Bono clinic and deliver advice alongside the students on the University Campus premises.
Duncan Lewis’ Pro Bono Clinic has gone on to fund a yearly prize to three University of East London students to obtain hands on legal experience at the firm. Each student is assigned to a senior solicitor in a given department for a 2 week legal placement. The Pro Bono Clinic furthermore works closely with and provides our trained advisors to the Brixton Domestic Violence Clinic, Hestia Advice surgery, Young Turks Club advice surgery, Turkish Cypriot Women’s Project advice surgery, Shelter Hackney drop in and advice surgery. These clinics provide vital advice and assistance to marginalised minorities across London, such as victims of domestic violence, who would otherwise have no access to legal advice. Duncan Lewis is recognized a national participant in the Law Works Legal Clinics.
In 2014 the Firm also launched their Pro Bono clinic in association with Law Works Cymru in March which operates on a weekly basis from Duncan Lewis’ Cardiff branch and offers Pro Bono advice in the areas of Housing, Welfare Benefits, Family, Child Care, Landlord & Tenant, Community care and Public Law which are supported by Specialist Directors, Solicitors and Trainee Solicitors. Members of the public seeking legal advice in these areas are urged to attend the free sessions where they can receive advice from qualified and accredited Solicitors at no charge.
Duncan Lewis also support numerous other Pro Bono activities: ‘Rights for Women’ Charity where Duncan Lewis Women Solicitors provide telephone advice for women; Fortnightly Social Welfare & Family Law legal clinic at the offices of ‘Turkish Cypriot Women’s Association’ (TCWA) in Haringey where Turkish Speaking Women Lawyers provide advice to the Women’s Organisation; ‘Lewisham Reach’ supported by Lawyers from Duncan Lewis Lewisham office in which the outreach service looks to target help for 21 – 55 year olds living in the Borough; Duncan Lewis Dalston lawyers support the University of East London Legal Clinic; numerous other CAB’s & legal clinics supported by Duncan Lewis lawyers and Pro Bono Committee members.
Hannah Hudson, member of the Duncan Lewis Pro Bono Committee added;
‘‘Our goal at Duncan Lewis is always the same: to achieve the right outcome, by doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. Being recognised and nominated by a national organisation such as LawWorks for the hard work that our Caseworkers, Trainees solicitors and Directors perform outside of their working hours is an honour and testament to the internal values of our company.”
The LawWorks Pro Bono Awards 2015 will be held on 24th November (6.30 to 9.00pm) at the office of Linklaters LLP, 1 Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8HQ. The presentation to the Award winners (to be announced on the night) will follow an inaugural lecture by Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Director of Liberty, and the event will be hosted by Joshua Rozenberg.