Legal Free Legal

By Lim Tanguy, Director of the Law Society Pro Bono Services Office. Prior to joining the Law Society, Tanguy was a practising lawyer for 12 years. He currently serves on the policy committee of “The Light”, Singapore’s cross sector non profit leadership network.

Law a calling. Pro bono services are an expression of the call to make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate. Only lawyers have the special skills, knowledge and license needed to secure access to justice for the needy as no one else has the training to do so.

Engaging in pro bono work is meaningful and provides professional development opportunities for a lawyer. For young volunteer lawyers, they have greater freedom in handling pro bono cases. Young volunteers are able to independently conduct client interviews, structure practical and cost effective solutions and thereby accelerate their professional development into skilled and experienced lawyers.

Within law practices, pro bono work can improve firm-wide morale as lawyers are given meaningful and fulfilling avenues to exercise their skills for the community good.

Pro bono activity can also build and strengthen relationships within a practice and provide excellent opportunities for senior lawyers to mentor their juniors. Undertaking a pro bono project such as providing pro bono non-litigation commercial legal advice and legal services to a needy community-serving organisation can serve as a positive team building exercise for the whole firm.

The Law Society of Singapore actively promotes pro bono work amongst its lawyers. Many of the Law Society’s members serve as volunteers for pro bono schemes run by various charities, community-serving organisations and agencies. In 2007, the Pro Bono Services Office was officially launched by the Law Society, borne from a collaborative commitment by the Singaporean legal profession to donate at least 25 hours per lawyer per year towards pro bono work.

The Pro Bono Services Office is to ensure access to justice for all.

Find out more:
Contact or comment at: or 6536 0650

Are you a community-serving organisation such as a charity, non profit organisation or a social enterprise in Singapore the needs legal assistance on operational issues but are unable to afford a lawyer? With increased regulations governing the charity and non-profit sector, many organisations are facing more complex legal issues and the below schemes can help.

Community Organisation Legal Clinic (COLC)

COLC provides free basic legal advice on commercial non-litigation operational issues. Eligible community-serving organisations are able to consult a volunteer lawyer on a one-to-one basis for 30 minutes.

COLC is conducted twice a month at The Law Society Pro Bono Services Office which are located at the Subordinate Courts, Level 5. It is held on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month, between 1pm to 2pm. (excluding public holidays and the eve of public holidays).

Project Law Help (PLH)

PLH matches eligible community-serving organisations with a volunteer private law practice. The pro bono assistance provided by the volunteer private law practice is more in-depth than the basic legal advice offered by the COLC and may extend to the drafting of legal documents and the provision of non litigation legal services.

What areas of law does PLH cover?

Corporate Law (contracts with suppliers, indemnity agreements for corporate sponsors, drafting pledges for donors);
Employment Law (drafting or reviewing employment contracts);
Intellectual Property Law (copyright,data protection,web site use);
Property Law (lease terms); and
Other legal matters which are in progress or where court litigation is not a viable option.

How to use the Services

Register for COLC or PLH at the Law Society’s website