February 26, 2022
I am Amelia, Head Pro Bono Coordinator of the Cambridge University Law Society. I am pleased to be able to introduce this blog as a space for all our students to discuss their pro bono work and express their views on access to justice. A huge thank you to Arjun, the CULS webmaster, for all his help and advice in setting up this blog, and to our freshers’ representatives and editors, Gloria and Isabelle, who have set up this blog with me and will play a significant role in editing, promoting and providing content for it. Our justice system is on life support. Widespread court closures, an ever-increasing backlog of cases and a lack of eligibility for legal aid would be listed as the symptoms – political decision-making the cause of death. I am afraid for the future of our justice system, but I know there is hope; hope in the form of outstanding pro bono organisations which bridge the gap, providing advice to those in need, campaigning for change and promoting legal education. It is with immense pride that I can say many Cambridge students and staff are a part of this – volunteering their time and energy to make a difference. Pro bono work is an integral part of people’s lives and experiences, and this blog is here to celebrate that by giving a platform for the stories of those who are involved in pro bono work. We must face up to the reality of why pro bono work is here and the fact that many people simply cannot afford to work pro bono either. Although it may be surprising to hear this from me, I hope one day for a world where we do not need pro bono. A world where everyone has access to free, widely available legal advice – something that must be seen as integral to the rule of law. In the meantime, however, pro bono is here to fill the gap and I am extremely proud to be a part of it. Submissions are welcome from all Cambridge University members but expect to see some guest blogs in the future too. The word count is 1,000 words but if you wish to go over, let us know and we can make it a feature. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, and should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.