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University Staff and Students Collaborate on Founding

Fri 16 October 2020

Scottish law clinics and senior lawyers have come together to launch a new online platform to provide free on-demand video training to law students involved in pro bono work across Scotland. (PBS) provides students who do pro bono with access to high quality training materials and events. The network exists to support students so that they can do more, help more, and achieve more for Scotland’s communities.

Established by Gibson Dunn's Ryan Whelan, our own Pro Bono and Clinical Legal Education (CLE) Coordinator Aideen Byrne, and the Aberdeen Law Project's Jonathan Goodyear, the PBS platform is believed to be the first of its kind and will give pro bono students access to bespoke training materials that are designed to make them better able to advise and represent those in the justice gap.

All of Scotland’s law clinics have signed up to join PBS and a host of individuals, firms and consultancies have agreed to support the organisation by providing training materials, including members of the Faculty of Advocates and lawyers from Willkie Farr, Dentons, DLA Piper, Burness Paull, Leading Minds, Turcan Connell, TC Young, Core-Solutions, CMS, Addleshaw Goddard, Harper Macleod, MBM Solicitors, Lexis Nexis and the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Strathclyde.

Hector MacQueen, David Cabrelli and George Gretton have already contributed, with other academic staff contributing later this month.

The collaboration also includes members of our recently formed University of Edinburgh Pro Bono Society, Student Director Jamie Perriam and Deputy Director Eilidh McDermott on the Steering Committee.

PBS was officially launched on Monday 12 October 2020 with a library of videos covering everything from common legal issues that students advise on to cross-examination, mediation and wellness. Events in partnership with the Scottish University Law Clinic Network (SULCN) are planned for later in the year.

So whether you are a student who feels you could benefit from these materials, or if you are a lawyer or have other relevant skills that you are willing to share with the network, please visit the website and get involved.

Rebecca Samaras
PBS has launched at a time when access to legal advice and assistance is needed more than ever. The continuing impact of economic crises, cuts in legal aid and a global pandemic on our local, national and international communities, deprives so many of their basic rights. It is tremendous to see the dedication and enterprise of our former and current Scottish law students in collaborating and developing
Rebecca Samaras, Director of Pro Bono and Clinical Legal Education