PEBA’s outreach work
PEBA is committed to playing its part in supporting and encouraging diversity at, and access to, the Bar. It does this through both support for its members’ own endeavours, and through its partnership with the BLD Foundation and the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL), both of which work hard to promote awareness of the Bar as a career option to those from non-traditional or disadvantaged backgrounds.
Through these partnerships, PEBA is able to connect with a range of students who might not otherwise have considered a career in the Bar (and in particular, a career at the Planning Bar) at all. It is, however, only able to do this through the support of its membership, who generously give up their time to support this work.
Members interested in offering their time in this way, or other organisations who are interested in partnering with PEBA to support diversity and access to the Bar, should contact the PEBA Administrator.
Those who are interested can see photos from a recent BLD event attended by PEBA members.
PEBA’s work in this field is underpinned by its adopted equality and diversity policy.
Pro bono legal services
PEBA’s members also support access to the Bar’s professional services, for those who might otherwise be unable to afford them, through pro bono work. Pro bono work is work done without charging a fee. Many of the barristers who are members of PEBA are registered with organisations and charities whose aim is to help people with problems in the town and country planning and environmental law fields.
PEBA encourages and supports its members’ involvement in pro bono work. The Handbook refers to some of the many organisations for which our members undertake pro bono work: they are the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Environmental Law Foundation. In addition, a number of our members are legal volunteers for the charities Planning Aid for London or Planning Aid Wales.
Work for all these organisations can range from giving legal advice by telephone or email, to appearing at public inquiries.
For those who require planning advice, there is a network of Planning Aid services available across the country (organised by the RTPI). Planning Aid provides free, independent and professional help, advice and support on planning issues to people and communities who cannot afford to hire a planning consultant. See the Planning Aid website for details.
The Environmental Law Foundation
The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) is a charity that has a number of barristers and solicitors, including some members of the Association, who are willing to provide a free initial advice in relation to environmental (including planning) problems, by means of an individual licence under the Licensed Access scheme. This service is available to private individuals, community organisations and similar bodies. For further information, visit the ELF website.