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Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Pro bono booksThe last year has had a number of challenges and difficulties. It has, however, been an incredibly successful year for the Cambridge University Law Society Pro Bono Team.

Pro bono at Cambridge has had many successes throughout this academic year, promoting access to justice and legal education through numerous projects. From raising money through the 'Run the Extra Mile for Justice' fundraiser for the Access to Justice Foundation, to working with Amicus and founding the Cambridge Chapter of the Missouri Project, enabling students to work on homicide cases analysing the use of the death penalty in Missouri. Students have also been individually celebrated for their work in pro bono organisations through the 'Cambridge Pro Bono Awards', founded this year. There are many projects organised for the future, too, and relationships with organisations such as Citizens Advice Cambridge continue to grow from strength to strength.

The finale to a year of exceptional work was our work with the International Law Book Facility. The International Law Book Facility is a project that collects previous editions of law books and ships them internationally to not-for-profit organisations that would benefit from having greater access to legal resources and education. Across the year, the Team were busy organising the collection and storage of books from college libraries and towards the end of Easter term all the work finally came together! The Team collected a huge number of books from the following college libraries: Trinity Hall, Trinity, Jesus, Queens', Peterhouse, St Catherine's, Sidney Sussex, Lucy Cavendish, Murray Edwards, Robinson, Pembroke and Christ's. The boxes were then delivered to the conference centre at Wolfson College where sorting and packing could begin. With the help of volunteers, the Team finished up with 50 boxes for Assosa University in Ethiopia and 10 boxes for Justice Defenders in Uganda - each box contains around 10 books, and some contain even more! The Team are grateful for the generous donations made by the college libraries to the project and are really looking forward to seeing the books arrive in Uganda and Ethiopia in what will be a great step forward for access to justice and legal education.

The Pro Bono Co-ordinators of 2020-2021, Natasha Godsiff, Jack Bailey, Sonia Sitea and Abigail Pope, did an exceptional job of leading the team with these projects, leaving their roles with a legacy that future pro bono teams can continue. The incoming Head of Pro Bono, Amelia Quince, and the Pro Bono Co-ordinators, Hannah Winning, Willy Wai Yan Oo and Sophie Gibson, thank the previous team for their hard work and dedication and wish them all the best for their futures.