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Pro Bono Consultant – Family Justice Project 6 months

Our vision is to change the way in which pro bono is practised in the family justice sector.  There are many areas of the country in which there is no provision for family law advice for those who cannot afford to pay for it. This has contributed to the crisis with our family court system. Yet there are many family lawyers who would be willing to provide remote legal advice.  Our goal is to match this supply with the demand.

For over five years, and in collaboration with Plymouth Citizens Advice and Bethnal Green Legal Advice Centre, family lawyers from Charles Russell Speechlys have given advice to those who are unable to pay for it, through remote clinics in “legal advice deserts” in the South-West of England.  In 2023, we expanded this project with the assistance of two leading family law teams.

This is a consultant position for six months to scope out the expansion of this innovative collaboration, to allow more family lawyers to provide much needed advice to vulnerable individuals across the country.

 

Role and Responsibilities 

The consultant will work with and report to our Senior Pro Bono Associate and Partner and Director of Responsible Business & Pro Bono.  Other key relationships will include the Family Partner leading the family pro bono practice, and other members of the Responsible Business Team.  The consultant will also work with frontline charity partners, legal aid lawyers, members of the court system and pro bono professionals at collaborating law firms.

The consultant’s role will be to carry out the necessary research/consultation/engagement and produce a report that identifies a viable operating model/s for the project; and to explore potential funding models.  The consultant will:

 

  • Engage with key frontline organisations and stakeholders working in the sector (for example Citizens Advice, Legal Advice Centres, key Family Law non-profits) to:
    • Build a detailed picture of frontline need for expert family law pro bono support; and 
    • Consider opportunities and challenges for frontline legal services organisations working with the envisaged collaborative platform, including in respect of data protection, compliance and risk, tech platforms and triaging. 
  • Engage with lawyers working in family legal aid, to understand where provision exists and where gaps prevail.
  • Engage with the court to ascertain views on how to address challenges from the court’s point of view.
  • Consider with the firm’s Family team/other Family Law professionals the scope of pro bono collaboration for non-court dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration.
  • Engage with Pro Bono Professionals at other firms working on Family Law related pro bono projects to understand any best practices / lessons learnt.
  • Research existing comparable models, to include other collaborative pro bono projects.
  • Assess suitable tech platform/s to host collaboration.
  • Liaise with the Compliance & Risk and Data Protection teams at the firm to understand how structure expansion could work.
  • Assess whether the current “one-off advice” model is the right ambition for a collaborative project. Look at what additional support could be provided and how that could be organised.
  • Work with Pro Bono Team to host follow-up event with Family Law practitioners.
  • Map future funding models for collaboration, including the running of the expanded project.

Person Specification

We are looking for a senior consultant who is:

  • A self-starter with strong research, presentation and communications skills.
  • Able to navigate and understand both the non-profit frontline perspective and the corporate/law firm angle.

Competencies

• Working together

• Integrity and respect

• Inclusive

• Personal impact and growth

• Driving high standards

• Commercial mindset

• Client - centric

• Responsible Business 

For a detailed specification please download the job description in the documents section of this page.

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