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My pro bono experience: An interview with Freya Mutimer

Current student Freya Mutimer is studying the MA Law at our Bristol campus. We caught up with Freya to discuss why carrying out pro bono work was so important to her and how it’s boosted her confidence.

I chose to study with The University of Law because of its excellent reputation for academic support and careers guidance, and I have not been disappointed. The tutors are encouraging and engaging (which is a challenge for some of the drier content) and the Careers Team are beyond helpful. Careers advisors and pro bono coordinators are incredibly invested in every individual student and are always ready to go above and beyond to make sure you feel prepared and supported when entering the legal sphere. The team at ULaw have made me feel confident and excited about my journey to being a solicitor and I am so glad I choose to study with them.

I was inspired to go into law by the lawyers I met when volunteering during my undergraduate studies. Their determination to help others and fierce belief in the importance of justice for all drew me to this path. I chose to study law so that I could follow in their footsteps and advocate for those in vulnerable and precarious situations.

Pro bono work is legal volunteering. Ordinarily, you join a team or organisation to deliver a legal service or to raise awareness relating to a particular legal issue. I wanted to get involved in pro bono work to gain some legal experience, meet other law students and start helping people in the community as soon as possible.

Pro bono is important because it gives law students and lawyers a chance to open the legal world to others in a much more accessible way than normal, which is more important than ever with legal aid cuts.

Due to the pandemic, I have carried out most of my pro bono work online. However, I have had the opportunity to do a few things in person, like visiting a local school to deliver lessons for Streetlaw (a programme that works in communities and schools across the country and around the globe, educating people about law and government).

My pro bono work has been massively varied. I have been involved with so many things, from building a website to delivering a lesson to schoolkids, from attending anti-islamophobia training to advocating against the death penalty in America. The huge variety of tasks has been a great opportunity to learn new skills and grow my confidence.

I was most proud of my time with Streetlaw because public speaking has never been a strength of mine, and this project really pushed me on that. Pro bono work is a great opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new.

There is a huge array of opportunities available, from more corporate minded projects to justice focused ones. I can confidently say that everyone will find a pro bono project that they are personally passionate about.

My pro bono work has helped with my studies by growing my confidence in the legal world generally. It has massively helped with my career by giving me a broad range of experiences to draw upon in interviews and assessment centres. It has also helped me to find what sort of legal work drives me and what I would like to qualify into.

My advice to any student considering pro bono work is - do it. It has been my favourite part of being at ULaw. It’s a great way to make friends, to feel like you are helping the community and to develop skills vital to being a lawyer.

 

Learn more about the pro bono opportunities we offer when you study with us.