Caroline Paul is our marketing manager. Since 2021 she has volunteered with Advocate’s marketing group. She also works closely with our pro bono champions: barrister Lily Cooke and deputy senior clerk Mark Townsend to promote pro bono within chambers.
Please tell us about the pro bono work you did
For Advocate, I, and the other volunteers in the marketing group advise on ways to encourage even more barristers to take on pro bono cases and to support Advocate’s work.
During the past 2 years, my involvement has ranged from helping with the planning for the Pro Bono Awards, considering how to communicate Advocate’s 25 for 25 initiative and in a week or so, I will be speaking at the Institute of Barristers Clerks’ conference about how pro bono can benefit chambers.
Within chambers, Lily Cooke, Mark Townsend and I work together to organise an annual presentation about pro bono, highlight pro bono cases to members and, now that we have signed up to the Advocate chambers pro bono framework, we are focusing more on recording the number of pro bono hours our barristers work.
What impact did the pro bono work have on the people and communities you worked with?
It is very much a team effort. I don’t think any work I have done has necessarily had a great impact.
But, having said that, Advocate told us more than 15,000 hours were completed for the 25 for 25 project - considerably more than they anticipated. It is nice to feel I’ve contributed in some very minor way to that through how the initiative was communicated and brought to the attention of the Bar.
When you think about it, barristers dedicating more than 15,000 plus hours of their time to giving free legal advice and representation must translate into hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people who received legal advice and representation who otherwise would have been unable to afford it.
Did your pro bono work have an impact on your professional career? If so, in what ways?
The nice thing is that the initiatives Advocate have asked me to participate in draw on my previous experience yet introduce me to many new people. Some of those contacts don't work in legal marketing so I get valuable insights into marketing in other sectors which helps me to hone my skills.
Any final comments
The barristers are the ones giving up their time so fewer people have to deal with legal proceedings or problems alone. I am very pleased to play a supporting role in that process.