A large number of solicitors and law firms have dedicated their valuable time and efforts in providing legal advice or representation at free or reduced fee for charities, non-profit associations or the general public through various channels.
The Law Society supports and encourages pro bono legal services provided by lawyers to the general public. A range of pro bono work have been organised by the Law Society or jointly with other organisations through its various committees, including the Pro Bono Committee, which was set up in January 2010 to review the pro bono work undertaken by the legal profession, promote public awareness of the pro bono services under by the profession and encourage participation by the profession in pro bono work. The Pro Bono Committee overlooks various pro bono schemes and projects in which members of the Law Society participated in.
Some of the pro bono services provided by the members of the Law Society are described below:
|Free Legal Helpline 8200 8002|
|Name||Free Legal Helpline|
|Nature of service||To offer free legal advice to the general public in the areas of Personal Injuries, Matrimonial Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Wills & Probate and Mediation|
|Date commenced||20 May 2013|
|Details of service||
|Dates / times for legal clinic
||Monday to Friday: 9:00am - 5:30pm|
|Normal waiting period||Within 3 working days|
|Who provide the advice||Solicitor volunteers|
|Address||3/F, Wing On House, 71 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong|
|Web site||Click here|
|Free Legal Consultation Service|
|Name||Free Legal Consultation Service by the Law Society of Hong Kong|
|Nature of service||To provide legal advice and assistance|
|Details of service||
Law firms which are listed in the Free Legal Consultation section have volunteered to provide an initial free consultation to the public (up to 45 minutes) in one or more of the following 24 areas of practice. This service is by appointment only.
|Dates / times for legal clinic
||By arrangement with law firm|
|Normal waiting period||Within one week|
|Who provide the advice||Solicitors|
|Contact details||Please contact individual law firms for appointment|
|Free Legal Advice Service on Building Management|
|Name||Free Legal Advice Service on Building Management provided by the Home Affairs Department (HAD) in collaboration with the Law Society of Hong Kong.|
|Details of service||The service commenced since 2015. One-stop referral service to owners and concerned bodies seeking free professional advice on the issues in relation to building management. Free legal advice provided by solicitor volunteers.|
|Venue and time slots for free professional advice||
|Three-Year Pilot Free Outreach Legal Advice Service on Building Management|
||Three-Year Pilot Free Outreach Legal Advice Service on Building Management provided by the Home Affairs Department (HAD) in collaboration with the Law Society of Hong Kong.|
|Details of service
||In collaboration with The Law Society, HAD launched “Three-Year Pilot Free Outreach Legal Advice Service on Building Management” (“FOLAS”) in September 2019 with a view to enhance legal support to Owners’ Corporations (OCs) in conducting general meetings.
Under the FOLAS, upon successful application, a lawyer experienced in handling building management matters will be assigned to the OC to provide free legal service, i.e. (i) attending the pre-meeting of the general meeting of the OC; (ii) reading relevant information about the meeting provided by the OC; and (iii) attending and giving legal advice at the meeting, for up to six hours.
|Law Week||It has evinced the aspiration of the Law Society to enhance the community’s legal knowledge and to promote available legal services in the community since 1991. New features are introduced from time-to-time to gauge the needs of different social segments.|
|Teen Talk||To address the aspirations of different sections of the community particularly that of young people.|
||lawyers have shared their legal knowledge on various topics with secondary schools students, such as the Hong Kong Basic Law and criminal law, with a view to fostering a sense of abiding by the law among them. There were more than 10,000 students participating in these events.|
|“Legal Pioneer” Mentorship Programme
||Since 2009, the Law Society’s Community Relations Committee has organised the “Legal Pioneer” Mentorship Programme's Closing and Opening Ceremony, which has been a popular annual event amongst students.|
|Legal Mail Box||Lawyers have been answering questions in connection with legal matters every Monday in the Sing Tao Daily in the form of Q&As since 2006.|
|Free legal seminars
||On various topics such as family law, conveyancing, employment law, landlord and tenant, personal injury, wills and successions, etc.
|Business-School Partnership Programme (BSPP)||In collaboration with the Education Bureau in its “Business-School Partnership Programme” (“BSPP”) with the aim of promoting better co-operation and closer alliances between the legal sector and the schools, to lead students out of the classroom to gain a wider perspective of the world and to get them better prepared for life in the society.|
|Social Enterprise Legal Seminar Series||The Law Society has been running the “Social Enterprise Legal Seminar Series” in collaboration with HKCSS since 2011. The aim is to help social enterprises better understand the legal aspects of their operations.|
|NGOs Governance Platform Project||Partnered with HKCSS to promote best practice and experience sharing on NGO governance among board members of their NGO members since 2015.|
|Governance Connect Program||With a view to further assisting NGOs to strengthen their governance capacity, The Law Society also partnered with HKCSS on their “Governance Connect Program”. The Program has successfully matched volunteer lawyers as honorary legal advisors to eight small to medium- sized NGOs which provide assistance to target groups including chronic patients, people with mental health problem / intellectual disabilities and women / children from grass-root families.|
The Law Society has been organising elderly visits, community talks, children's programme, etc. to provided pro bono services to the underprivileged.
At the district level, a number of lawyers have also been providing free legal advice to the public through the Legislative Council and offices of district councillors in the 18 districts to help the underprivileged resolve legal problems.
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