TLT trainees

Pro-bono work - a trainee's perspective

Laura Jackson photo

Third-seat trainee Laura has written about some of the pro-bono schemes that she has been involved in at TLT to date, and what this has meant for her in making a difference to people's lives while also developing her skills as a lawyer.

One of the things that attracted me to TLT was its commitment to corporate social responsibility and in particular, the different pro bono schemes that the firm offers. As someone who likes to be involved with various charities and fundraising projects, it was great to discover that the firm provides all employees (from partners to legal assistants), the opportunity to offer support to individuals or charities that may otherwise be unable to afford it.

I’ve been lucky enough to get involved with a couple of different schemes, which have both been equally as rewarding.

RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity

RFEA provide life-long training, jobs and opportunities to support UK veterans. In order to offer this service, they rely on a number of different donors and RFEA’s relationship with these donors are governed by unique and separate contracts. I was part of a team that reviewed their existing contracts, commenting on any particularly unusual or onerous terms.

As a result of my work, I was invited to attend a presentation in London given by RFEA. This was a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the charity and hear first-hand how the work at TLT really makes a difference.

As a trainee in our Financial Services Disputes and Investigations team at the time, it was also great to undertake some more ‘commercial’ based work as it helped give me an insight into a different area of law. 

More information can be found about the pro-bono scheme here and further information about the work of RFEA on their website.

Bristol Law Centre - Advice Clinic

Bristol Law Centre is a charity providing free information and legal advice to those who may not otherwise have anywhere to turn.

TLT is committed to assisting with the clinic and many people volunteer to offer support and advice to individuals on a range of matters.

I became involved with the scheme by assisting a solicitor in my team with advice that she was required to give relating to a medical negligence claim. The work involved researching the area of the law, joining the solicitor on a call to the individual, and following up with a comprehensive (but easy to follow) guide on what the law was and what we would suggest as to next steps.

The great part about this work is that I was able to see how the research that I had undertaken would assist someone who genuinely needed help. It also was a nice variation from the other tasks that I had in my to-do list that week!

The other plus side to helping with the advice clinic is that I can be as involved as I want. This means that an important piece of client work is never compromised due to being involved in the scheme, or vice versa.

More information can be found about the Bristol Law Centre on their website.

Having interests both in and outside of the law becomes incredibly important when you are applying for training contracts. Working for a firm like TLT, where we are encouraged to get involved in these additional activities and support charities and institutions with similar values, highlights the necessity for a successful lawyer to be as well-rounded as possible.

A way to help develop your skills to become a well-rounded lawyer lies in taking part in activities that you are interested in. I enjoy working with people from all walks of life and knowing that I have helped them in some way, and that is why I choose to be involved in pro bono projects at TLT. Use your law societies, university events and local communities, and get involved in something that inspires you. In my experience at least, this has helped me develop as a person and as a lawyer.