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6 November 2020 | Comment | Article by Lisa Morgan

Pro Bono at Hugh James – Nursing Care

This week, 2 to 6 November 2020, marks the nineteenth National Pro Bono Week, an annual event which recognises and support the voluntary contribution made by lawyers across the UK.

Hugh James has been working with Cardiff University Law School for more than 10 years on several initiatives including pro bono schemes. It is an ongoing partnership that the firm is very proud and has previously won a National Undergraduate Employability award for Best Collaboration between a University and Employer.

Lisa Morgan, Partner and Head of our Nursing Care team writes about her involvement in the pro bono scheme.

“I have a long standing relationship with Cardiff Law School to offer pro bono legal advice to vulnerable people around the delicate issue of reclaiming wrongly paid care fees. When I qualified as a solicitor, I knew the importance to help others come into our profession and I therefore grabbed the opportunity when Cardiff Law School approached me to assist. Since 2006, I have worked with the Law School in supporting and supervising their pro bono scheme. The scheme has evolved over the years and we are proud it is one of the most popular schemes at the Law School. Since we started working together 800 students have taken part and we have helped over 60 clients.

The partnership has an added benefit of working with students to give them real experience of working with clients and developing their key practitioner skills, while also providing me with an opportunity to work with tomorrow’s lawyers. The relationship between the school and the firm is mutually viable. By working with students in the scheme, it gives them first-hand experience which is a great way to begin a career in law. Work experience adds strength to a job/placement application and many of the students involved in the scheme have gone on to secure roles within Hugh James.

The pro bono scheme has also supported my own development, through delivering my first lecture to over 150 students in a huge hall to being awarded national pro bono and Law Society Excellence awards. However, the pride of seeing pro bono students joining the profession and forging their own careers in and out of Hugh James is one of the most rewarding.”

Charlotte Fletcher, a former pro bono student and now Associate at Hugh James shares her experience:

“I joined the NHS Continuing Healthcare pro bono scheme, which was facilitated by Lisa Morgan of Hugh James, when I was in my second year of my undergraduate law degree at Cardiff University. Through the scheme I was able to take part in real legal cases which benefited real people and learn a number of important legal skills. With expert guidance from Hugh James it was a very rewarding and valuable experience.

Following graduation, I believe my involvement on the pro bono scheme strengthened my application and I was able to secure a paralegal position in Lisa’s team at Hugh James. Ten years on I am still working at Hugh James as an Associate in the firm’s Court of Protection team. I strongly believe that the Cardiff Law School pro bono scheme was the first stepping stone of my legal career and will always be grateful to the law school and Hugh James for facilitating this”.

Thomas Clements, future Hugh James trainee says:

“Having converted to law from an English degree, I always felt very nervous and doubtful at the prospect of a legal career having such little experience and connections in the legal sector. After careful consideration, I opted to enrol on the Nursing Care scheme & I am so pleased that I did. From day one we were given hands-on experience working with cases, both within the firm’s offices and in Cardiff Law School. It gave me a huge boost to my confidence and offered an opportunity to network and make meaningful connections in the sector (many of which remain good friends today). It also gave me a taste for working in a law firm, which solidified my ambition to become a solicitor. Following the scheme, I applied and accepted a role as a legal assistant in the firm. I have since progressed through a number of different roles in the firm. I’m still in the department five years on from the scheme and look forward to progressing my career in the firm as a trainee solicitor next year.”

Hannah Marchant, Director of Employability at Cardiff Law School explains:

“Pro bono is an invaluable opportunity for students to gain practical experience in order to supplement their academic learning and so enhance their prospects of gaining employment. It also enables students to provide assistance to members of the public and thereby gain an understanding of some of the difficulties that many people are facing. Students also benefit hugely from working with practitioners, who give up a significant amount of their time to help enrich students’ experiences.”

For more information about the scheme and placement opportunities, visit our careers section of the website.

Author bio

Lisa Morgan


Lisa Morgan is a Partner and Head of the Nursing Care department. She is regarded as an experienced and specialist solicitor leading in the niche area of continuing healthcare.

She has been instrumental in developing a niche legal department in Hugh James, which comprises of 40 fee earners who solely act for the elderly and families in recovering wrongly paid nursing fees.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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