Lauren: I’m a Pinsent Masons Pro Bono Champion, which means I receive details of new pro bono opportunities and I’m encouraged to share these around my team. The opportunity to work with The Social Innovation Partnership looked like a fantastic chance to gain client exposure and really take ownership of a matter, all whilst contributing to Pinsent Masons’ purpose to champion change, promote progress and enable everyone, to make business work better for people.
I shared the opportunity with my team and asked if anyone would be keen to supervise me on this project, which Emma Johnson (Senior Associate in my team) thankfully volunteered to do. I then liaised with Daniel to pull together a pitch describing the knowledge, skills and experience we could offer TSIP and TSIP chose to instruct us!
Daniel: TSIP are a small charity and they wanted us to help them alter their employment contracts for their existing and new staff, to decrease their working hours slightly from 40hrs per week to 37.5hrs per week.
First of all, we drafted a letter that TSIP could use to inform their staff about the change to their contracts, and then we amended some employment contract templates that TSIP had for their existing staff and also new staff entering the organisation.
Between us we probably put around 10 hours to the Project over about 3 weeks.
Lauren: Working with TSIP was a great experience which allowed me to gain an insight into preparing pitches and onboarding a new client, both of which are fab for improving my Business Development skills.
Daniel: Agreed! As the Social Innovation Partnership are a small charitable organisation, as are all of our pro-bono clients, it meant that I was able to develop my client-facing skills in a less daunting scenario than if I was advising one of our regular large clients. I was also able to take on more responsibility in terms of the tasks I was carrying out, such as making amendments to employment contracts and liaising with the client about the amendments I had made, because the client was less high-profile.
Lauren: I would encourage all of my colleagues (particularly trainees) to sign up to become a Pro Bono Champion and regularly check the new Pro Bono hub for opportunities.
Daniel: Pro bono is a good introduction to dealing with clients and developing your technical skills; I would highly recommend that prospective trainees look out for the pro-bono opportunities available to them.