Pro bono and extra-curricular activities
We place great importance on work experience, aiming to develop your skills and experience to help you graduate with the best possible prospects.
Gain valuable insight into aspects of the legal profession by participating in local pro bono projects for work experience.
"The mediation training has vastly developed my communication skills, from public speaking to learning how to acquire necessary information by asking the relevant questions and building client rapport.”
pro bono projects
Pro bono, voluntary legal work, refers to professional work which lawyers undertake without payment. At Reading, we are proud of our extensive range of pro bono activities and support, and wholeheartedly encourage students who are keen to participate. In addition to being a rewarding use of time, pro bono experience is something that future employers—both legal and otherwise—increasingly look to for evidence of the practical skills that graduates need to develop. Due to our wide range of options, you will be directed to a project which matches both your interests and ability.
Students have been involved in recent pro bono projects including:
- Local CommuniCare Legal Advice Clinic —Work as an adviser supported by practitioners at a local advice agency. Sit in with qualified solicitors at evening sessions, and assist with legal research and letter writing as necessary. Students also have the opportunity to contribute to more general 'drop in' advice sessions which are offered every weekday.
- Reading Youth Offending Service —Train to sit on referral panels that monitor the activities of young offenders. Each panel will typically meet with the offender and agree a plan of action designed to right the harm already done and prevent future reoffending.
- Resolve—Undertake mediation training, which then affords you the opportunity to apply in subsequent years to deliver mediation-related work. It aims to develop a set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes to boost employability, serving as a stepping stone to involvement in further pro bono opportunities.
- Streetlaw — Visit local schools to raise legal awareness by bringing aspects of law and the legal system into the community through lessons, assemblies, group sessions and presentations. The sessions run by student volunteers comprise part of the school citizenship curriculum. Each year, students also coach pupils for a debating competition, with finals for various year groups. Streetlaw is the largest pro bono opportunity, and students find it both valuable and enjoyable.
The Reading School of Law annual Pro Bono Fair is a chance for students to find out more about voluntary placement opportunities. Past students have volunteered with the Free Representation Unit, Amicus, Age Concern, Berkshire Witness Service and Victim Support, Thames Valley Police and the Death Penalty Project.
In recognition of the sizeable commitment many students make to pro bono work, final-year students are able to count their experience towards a full 20 credit "Pro bono and professional practice" module. This experience is recorded in an online portfolio reflecting on various aspects of their voluntary work and the organisation concerned.
mooting, negotiation and interviewing
You will be given the opportunity to participate in our popular mock trials, known as moots, and our negotiation competitions.
Both offer the chance to represent the Reading School of Law at national and international level, and are excellent ways to acquire important skills—including public speaking, formulation of legal arguments and the ability to think creatively—and broaden your practical experience and awareness.
Want to increase your employability and boost your career prospects?
Speak to our team about the exciting pro bono options available to you as an undergraduate.