Students pursuing a career at the Bar are strongly encouraged to, where possible, volunteer for pro bono services. These activities are vital for building up practical advocacy and client facing skills, legal knowledge and gaining insight into the legal profession. Beyond the obvious value of practical experience, volunteering will furnish your CV and enhance any scholarship or pupillage applications you will make and provide you with personal real-world examples to cite and discuss in interviews.
Below are a list of organisations Middle Temple can endorse and encourages students to work with:
FRU (Free Representation Unit)
The Free Representation Unit (FRU) is a charity that provides legal advice, case preparation and advocacy in employment, social security, and some criminal injury compensation tribunal cases. Their clients could not otherwise obtain legal support for want of personal means and public funding. To provide this service they train volunteer law students and legal professionals in the early stages of their career in the skills required to give confident and competent support for the rights of others. Volunteers give their time for free, so whilst the FRU try to cover as many cases as possible, they cannot always guarantee representation. You can find out about how to become a representative by visiting the Volunteers section of their website.
Find out more about The Free Representation Unit and how you can volunteer.
You can listen to David Abbott, CEO of the Free Representation Unit, talking to Daniel Barnett on the LBC Legal Hour, discussing what the FRU does, how volunteers are trained and how to clients can contact FRU.
Support Through Court
750 volunteers provide a free service across England and Wales, offering support and guidance before, during, and after court. They ensure that those facing court alone feel prepared and supported in accessing justice.