In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Pro Bono Week, we give an update on Capital’s pro bono initiative with The University of South Wales’ (USW) School of Law.
The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in the number of people requiring access to diverse legal services. At Capital, we understand the challenges that people and businesses within the local community have faced in response to the pandemic, and value our involvement in the Pro Bono initiative as our way to help those who need it.
The variety of work we receive as part of our Pro Bono initiative proves interesting for trainee solicitors, as every case is different. We receive queries covering all practice areas, from employment to intellectual property. This allows USW to open their doors to all members of the public and local businesses, enabling them to access a broader range of services free of charge with our support.
Capital’s team of trainee solicitors work in pairs to help law students volunteering with USW’s Legal Advice Clinic, often guiding them in the direction of further helpful resources. It is a rewarding experience for all parties involved – challenging trainees to help students to understand the issues and needs of the clients, the objectives they wish to achieve, and how they may achieve these objectives. The variety of cases also means that trainee solicitors get to work with colleagues from all departments within Capital from the very start of their training contract, and gaining exposure to different practice areas.
One of our trainees, Rachel Adams, said this about her first experience working on the initiative:
We were asked to assist the students in advising a client with a potential copyright dispute. This was not an area I had experience in and so I arranged a call with Liz Smith, an Associate in our Commercial team. Liz was so helpful. Together, we considered what information would be helpful in advising this client and looked at what specific areas of intellectual property law this issue touched upon. Following this call, I was able to draft an email back to USW offering guidance on what further information the students should request from the client and the best places to look for some guidance on copyright, trademark and ‘passing off’ rights.
As Capital continues to grow, our involvement in the local community remains of paramount importance, with our Pro Bono initiative playing a vital role in maintaining strong community ties and developing new business opportunities.
You can read more about our partnership with USW’s School of Law here.