QM Pro Bono Society members share more than just their legal knowledge
Who We Are
We are a student-led non-profit organisation with over 250 members. The Society focuses primarily on increasing access to justice and understanding of various areas of the law by engaging members in volunteering, fundraising and networking opportunities.
What We Do
‘Pro Bono Publico’, meaning ‘for the good of the public’ is at the heart of the activities we organise. Our society comprises 10 departments, each of which endeavours to provide students with a variety of opportunities to contribute to society
This department works with local charities through regular volunteer placements and fundraising events. Notably, we organised a Winter Ball in December 2016 where over £2000 was raised for the Whitechapel Mission. We also have strong links with City and Hackney MIND as well Whitechapel Mission.
Aiming to encourage students to recognise the importance attached to human rights, we organise placements and case-work projects for students to gain a practical understanding of what human rights entails for individuals and the communities they live in. This includes events such as research placements with Amicus-ALJ, summer placements with legal non-profit organisations in the United States and a Sixth Form Human Rights Moot in collaboration with St Paul’s Way Trust School.
This department aims to provide support, education and guidance to our immediate community. We have partnered with Tower Hamlets College (THC) to organise sessions designed to inform and engage sixth form students interested in pursuing a legal career. We have links with local organisations such as the Tower Hamlets Community Church and the ELT Centre. In addition, we are partners with the national domestic violence charity, Refuge. Through a variety of fundraisers, speeches and inspirational lectures we continue to support Refuge, whilst increasing awareness about the issue of domestic violence. Additionally, we have created a unique internship programme with this organisation, which focuses on reviewing legal aspects of their fundraising activities.
The Placements Department provides opportunities for students to shadow and assist solicitors from various high-profile City law firms at free legal advice clinics. We currently collaborate with five partner firms, namely, Reed Smith, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Dentons, Clifford Chance and DLA Piper and aim to give our members a growing range of opportunities to gain legal experience.
This department strives to provide members with opportunities to undertake pro bono placements on an international level, for those who wish to expand their notions of pro bono work whilst promoting independence and broadening their world view. We currently offer summer placements with various legal organisations in Cyprus, India, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, South Africa, Singapore, Uganda and the United States.
This department intends to inform awareness of, and a hands-on participation in, environmental issues. Our members volunteer at the Whitechapel Mission, City and Hackney MIND, and we also work with the Holy Cross centre. A key event to look out for is our annual second-hand law book sale where students can get core law textbooks at reduced prices. Half of the proceeds from this sale is donated to charity.
This department aims to encourage students to engage with current legal affairs and issues and express their opinions on them through the written word. The Advocate produces several digital publications throughout the year and aims to foster greater legal awareness through shedding light on legal issues that our students are passionate about. Our latest issue features an exclusive interview with careers consultant, Karen Watton. Our publications can be found at http://issuu.com/theadvocatelegalnews
This department focuses on the well-being of the students and self care. This year, the Health Awareness department organised an art therapy session, where students had the opportunity to learn about mindfulness through painting and experience the benefits of using art as a means of coping with stress.
This department focuses on fostering connections between students and their prospective future employers. We organise events that provide students advice on matters such as career development, organisation of studies and CV enhancement. Most notably, we hold an annual Speed Networking event, sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright where law students have an opportunity to interact with legal professionals from different law firms and ask them any question they might have about the legal career. Some of the esteemed law firms that have participated include Norton Rose Fulbright, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Linklaters, Reed Smith and Herbert Smith Freehills. We also recently organised a talk on alternative legal careers with speakers coming in from companies such Ofcom, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Fairtrade foundation and Barclays.
Where to Find Us
If you would like to find out more about our departments and keep up with our events, please feel free to check our social media links.
• Website: qmpbs.weebly.com
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QMPBS
• Twitter: @QMPBS
• Instagram: queen_mary_probono
• Snapchat: QMPBS
Image: QM Pro Bono Society