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Pro Bono

In: Social Issues

Submitted By amyht
Words 909
Pages 4
An understanding of the importance of pro bono and access to justice is a crucial part of any law student’s education. How could this be improved?

Twenty one years ago in 1992, “Daniel” who was 29 years old, was arrested in relation to a crime which left the victim, a county investigator, with a broken nose in Arizona. Two years later, evidence emerged that during the incident “Daniel’s” accomplice said “We got to do him” to which “Daniel” did not reply. On the basis of this weak evidence “Daniel” was convicted of the more serious crime of conspiracy to commit first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

For the majority of my lifetime, “Daniel” has been trying to correct this egregious conviction and his struggle is far from over. Last summer, I work pro bono on “Daniel’s” case as a second year law student in Oracle, Arizona, and came to realise the true benefit of pro bono work.

I ended up in Oracle after studying American Legal Practice at Birmingham City University as part of my second year LL.B studies. The American Legal Practice module is the largest UK to USA legal internship programme in the United Kingdom with over 100 host partners. The module provides students with an opportunity to work pro bono in an American law office, project or organisation for academic credit. Before embarking on the internship students must undertake training, in order to prepare them for some possible issues they may encounter. The training covered areas including legal research, the federal and state legal system, the Constitution, Amendments, the death penalty and exemptions, American Bar Association guidelines and international law.

During my internship I spent several weeks working on “Daniel’s” case. In this time, I reviewed the file to establish the history of the case, including any procedural history. I also spent several hours researching the...

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