Pro Bono Projects
Pro Bono is a latin term describing work which is voluntary, gratuitous and aimed at fostering the common good. Pro Bono activists help those who need legal advice which they cannot afford.
Our work is broadly concerned with access to justice. We have several projects that CULS members can get involved in:
The CUFLA (Cambridge University Free Legal Advice) project runs in collaboration with local law firms. It enables students to attend a legal clinic with a practising barrister or solicitor and take attendance notes on client meetings. CUFLA allows you to get real experience of the client/solicitor relationship, and interact with real clients (It’s also a great boost for your CV!) We will be hosting an introductory meeting in Michaelmas, to give you a little more information on CUFLA’s activities this year. Come along to find out more about the great opportunities CUFLA can provide you with!
Student Advocates International Project
Student Advocates International is a project that focusses on introducing and connecting students to human rights advocacy. One aspect of the project is to give students the opportunity to participate in overseas trips such as the Panama Human Rights Brigade, which gives members the ability to gain real life legal experience in dealing with issues of human rights. Students are attached with local legal practitioners and assist in the legal matters of a range of clients.
The Cambridge University Law Society Pro-Bono Committee is dedicated to sharing its members’ knowledge with the local community. It has pledged to help spread awareness about and thus combat sexual offences amongst young people. To this end, the CULS coordinates presentations in local schools aimed at explaining the law surrounding sexual offences and how it affects students. The CULS believes that the criminal law in this area is often confusing and that there must be advice available for young people in order to foster an environment of certainty and respect. To support this work, the CULS has partnered with a Cambridge-based organisation, LAWBOT, to provide an artificially intelligent software program that gives advice on matters related to sexual offences for free online. The Pro-Bono Committee hopes that its efforts will contribute to a safer school environment by helping to equip the younger generation with this crucially relevant legal knowledge. The Pro-Bono Committee also works closely with Jimmy’s Night Shelter, a local homeless shelter located near Anglia Ruskin, to organise student-run talks and seminars for the residents on various aspects of law that are most relevant to their lives such as Landlord and Tenancy Law.
Amicus is a small legal charity in the UK that helps provide representation for those on death row in the US. Those facing the death penalty often have inadequate legal representation, provided by lawyers who are overworked and underpaid. Amicus’ frontline work seeks to save the lives of those who are denied access to justice. Amicus at Cambridge will be focusing on fundraising to fund this legal representation, as well as hosting talks to raise awareness. By supporting Amicus at Cambridge, you’ll also get the amazing opportunity to attend Amicus’ US Death Penalty Training on US criminal law and procedure, legal research, evidence and professional conduct. This will give you the skills needed to volunteer and intern with Amicus, either in the UK or in the US, so that you can have a direct impact in saving the lives of vulnerable people facing the deepest injustice.
We work with the legal charity Amicus which seeks volunteers to help provide representation to those on death row in the US.
The Cambridge Anti-Trafficking panel, African Prisons Project panel, and Reprieve panel conduct legal and human rights related research work. The purpose of the panels is to provide research reports to partner NGOs and UN institutions on the relevant subjects.