The Law Society of Singapore’s Pro Bono Services Office has launched the Pro Bono Research Initiative (“PBRI”) which provides research support to pro bono practitioners undertaking complex and/or important criminal and civil cases (including family law) before the courts.
Assisted cases include assignments from Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, (CLAS), Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences (LASCO), Legal Aid Bureau (LAB), or the Law Society’s Ad Hoc Pro Bono Referral/Assessment Scheme.
A complex or important case can demand intense research for which a practitioner is placed under great pressure to complete within strict time lines.
The PBRI aims to ease this pressure, while providing volunteers with exposure to various cases before the courts. A group of volunteers will assist the practitioner for an anticipated two week period on a particular research task (or longer where the case requires). The volunteers will include law students, practicing and non-practicing lawyers, academics, and qualified persons. The group will be lead by a Team Leader, being a senior volunteer. Practitioners are also encouraged to nominate volunteers or Team Leaders where appropriate.
The PBRI anticipates a great benefit to practitioners in engaging and coaching volunteers and harnessing the deep research knowledge of students and academics, the international experience of foreign lawyers, and years of practical experience of non-practicing qualified persons on the research tasks; practitioners will be assigned a volunteer group on the condition that the volunteers may attend any court hearings associated with the case to which the research task pertains (subject to court approval).
If you wish to use or to volunteer for this exciting new initiative please contact the PBRI Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or 6534 1564.