As a law student you will no doubt be encouraged to do some volunteering or pro-bono, and the name FRU will be mentioned a lot.
What is FRU?
FRU is the Free Representation Unit. They are an independent charity which was established back in 1972. They rely on volunteers. These volunteers represent clients in the Employment Tribunal and the Social Security Tribunal in London and the South East.
If you are wondering how work gets referred to FRU for consideration, then check out the website as it has a great section all about the referral process.
As well as doing what they do, they also comment on public consultations and a big topic of conversation at the moment is Legal Aid. You can check out some of their reports and comments on various legal reforms, consultations and more here.
What does a volunteer do?
If a volunteer can assist in a particular matter they can prepare the case for trial and attend the hearing with the client as their advocate. Law students (who make up most of FRU’s volunteers) are selected, trained and supervised by full time staff. For more information about volunteering, read up on the process here.
All the information on the necessary training days, requirements, fees etc. can be found here and it is recommended you look at dates and availability.
Why is volunteering great for law students?
Volunteering is a great way to give something back but also develop your own skills.
There are also plenty of other organisations that take volunteers, not just FRU. In one of my LITM Q&A Interviews Josh Levy talked about some pro bono work he did and the benefits to him. You can read more about it on the Josh Levy interview.