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1. LawWorks Scotland – Who are we?

LawWorks has existed since the early months of 2011 because of the commitment of some lawyers and other like minded people from a variety of different non-legal backgrounds who recognised that perhaps particularly in more financially troubled times, access to justice was getting more and more difficult for various sections of society. They saw also that not for profit/”charitable organisations” needed legal advice and assistance over a large range of issues when they had little funding to meet the cost of that on a commercial basis. So LawWorks connects lawyers firm, Universities and individuals willing to work for no pay, with organisations, and some individuals who need that advice and help. The relationship with Citizens Advice Bureaux is well established and valued.

The much larger sister organisation in England & Wales – LawWorks – has been a constant supporter and source of encouragement and even inspiration. But LawWorks Scotland has made excellent progress from 2011 until now as the earlier annual reports have demonstrated.

2. 2015/2016

The consolidation achieved during 2014/2015 has continued during the past 12 months 2015/2016. The Chair, Peter Anderson, has taken on Board responsibilities for finance with any day to day work being undertaken by the former finance manager of Simpson & Marwick, Neil Fleming. LawWorks Scotland again expresses very considerable gratitude to the Trustees and Directors for the time, energy and effort which they devote to the work and obligations which arise.

Membership remains stable. The existing work is maintained and the quality of involvement from lawyers delivering pro bono work is reported as high.

Fundraising events have been both successful and fun – if at times sore on the legs – notably the Edinburgh and Glasgow Legal Walks – many thanks to all who got involved – and to their sponsors;

  • The Aberdeen Law Clinic is also providing a highly satisfactory success;
  • We have continued success and activity in the existing Clinics at Haddington, Musselburgh, Parkhead and West Lothian Citizens Advice Bureau;
  • Continued support for pro bono advice clinics operated in conjunction with the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux in Haddington, Musselburgh, Parkhead and West Lothian. Our members and their staff now provide (through Shepherd & Wedderburn, Burness Paull, RBS in-house team) clinics on a frequent basis and help support their clients in their local communities;
  • Continued support for the Faculty of Advocates Free Legal Services Unit to ensure that clients taken on by the unit can access both the Faculty’s advocacy skills and the solicitor’s case preparation expertise;
  • Raising the profile of pro bono across the legal profession on Scotland via SYLA/pro bono conference/articles.

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