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Pro bono: Never enough

November 20, 2017, The Law Society Gazette

Helena Milner-Smith and Morag Peberdy participated in a roundtable hosted by The Law Society Gazette to discuss the importance of pro bono work. According to Milner-Smith, clients previously receiving poor paid-for advice is a major problem in immigration cases. Commenting on a briefing she received before working on her first immigration case, Milner-Smith says, "It also talked about the fact there are a lot of shark-lawyers in the immigration area charging clients a lot of money to give terrible advice, [and] very shabby applications. Advice on things like sham marriages, which then makes someone’s future chances of getting an immigration application cleared much more difficult."

According to Peberdy, "A big part of it is people having interests outside these four walls, whether it’s from law school or from another firm, or they are involved with a charity. We get people saying, 'It’s close to my heart, and they’ve got legal needs. Can we on-board them?'. Ninety-nine times out of 100 we can… The idea of getting most pro bono work done is, 'What are people passionate about?' They’ll do more hours and they’ll do it better."

 

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