The Target amount of 35 hours was chosen in consultation with the legal profession. It reflects what many lawyers are already doing and represents the minimum number of hours of pro bono legal services that all lawyers should aspire to undertake.
Why have a Target?
The Target was launched on 26 April 2007 with the aim of raising the profile of the professional responsibility of lawyers to:
enhance access to justice for people who would not otherwise have access to legal assistance;
to work for the public good; and
to highlight the shared nature of that responsibility across the legal profession.
While other community service is important and applauded, the Target is focused on encouraging lawyers to undertake the legal work that only lawyers are qualified to do and which directly remove barriers to accessing justice.
You can also refer to the Guidance Notes for more detail on what can be counted.
Who has already signed up?
Many law firms, individual solicitors and barristers have already signed up and meet or achieve the Target each year. As at 30 June 2015, the Target covered over 11,300 lawyers. We encourage lawyers to sign up as individuals, even if their firm or chambers has already signed up.
You can sign up to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target as a law firm, incorporated legal practice, individual solicitor, individual barrister or barristers’ chambers quickly and easily online. All you need to do is:
All Target Signatories are required to report on their performance against the Target each financial year, by completing a brief form provided by the Centre (offline or online). All signatories’ responses are kept confidential.
The Centre then uses this data to produce an annual Performance Report on the Target. This report is de-identified and does not include information on the performance of individual signatories.