Birmingham Pro Bono Group (PBG) was established to provide legal advice services to vulnerable members of the community whilst enhancing students' skills and experience of law in the real world.
Founded by Dr Bharat Malkani in 2009 with the help of three students, the initial focus was on the Streetlaw project and lecture series until 2010 when we ran a pilot legal advice clinic with the assistance of Mills & Reeve. After this successful trial period, Birmingham PBG founded Birmingham FLAG and clinic work was formally introduced. The clinic work covered a variety of practice areas and continued to be run in conjunction with Mills & Reeve.
Since the launch of CEPLER, Birmingham FLAG has expanded to provide new areas of advice with the additional assistance of No5 Chambers and, more recently, Shakespeare Martineau. The group has grown further, adding the Casework and Research Assistance Group, established in response to research requests from outside organisations and charities, and projects with organisations including: SIFA Fireside; Birmingham Personal Support Unit (PSU); the International Student Advisory Service; the Criminal Appeals Assistance Unit; the Environmental Law Foundation; and the Birmingham Community Law Centre.
The Streetlaw project also goes from strength to strength with students delivering informative and interactive presentations to schools, community groups and other organisations. One of these is the Birmingham Employment Tribunal, a project launched in November 2015, helping litigants in person to navigate the Tribunal process through weekly sessions at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre.
Pro Bono Group activities are managed by the Pro Bono Group Committee which currently consists of 15 student representatives. The Committee is supported by academic members of staff and the CEPLER administrators.