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Law Firms

What it involves

Taking Kids in Need of Defense UK cases means making a commitment to children and young people who would not otherwise be able to access legal representation.

Once your firm has agreed to partner with us you will be assigned a Kids in Need of Defense UK supervising lawyer. Our expert immigration lawyers provide exclusive support to our pro bono partners, which means that they have the time to guide your lawyers throughout a case.

Training sessions are held at your office (or remotely, at your option) so that all your lawyers who want to get involved, can.

Once a lawyer is trained, they’re ready to take on a case. Most of our volunteers work in teams of two or three to help fit their pro bono work around other commitments – but we can work with you and your lawyers to find the best way to work with each firm, individually.

Your Kids in Need of Defense UK supervising lawyer will attend client appointments with your pro bono lawyers until they’re ready to go it alone.

Pro bono lawyers are also provided with template documents and legal resources to help them through the process.  


How can my firm meet regulatory requirements when we don’t have immigration expertise?

Our immigration lawyers are highly experienced and provide the supervision and guidance that you need to carry out this kind of work. However, you may still need a degree of internal supervision as you would with any work. Often a partner will take responsibility so that trainees and paralegals can undertake work as well.

Our National Coordinators will be happy to discuss regulatory requirements with you.

Is there a cost?

We’re happy to support participating firms to be involved at whatever level suits them. Firms will need to think about how many lawyers would like to be involved and how many cases they would like to take on.

To make it work, we also need a funding contribution that helps support the cost of training and supervision. The contribution we ask for is dependent on the number of pro bono lawyers a firm would like us to support. 

We also understand that some firms cannot commit to taking on cases but would like to support the development of Kids in Need of Defense UK. All donations are gratefully received and acknowledged.

How do we get involved?

If you are interested in getting involved you should contact our national coordinators. They will be able to answer your questions and give you more information about how to get things moving.

What are the employer incentives?

  • Enables your firm to achieve its CSR goals
  • Helps your firm be a part of a transatlantic pro bono movement
  • Builds relationships with corporate clients
  • Helps you understand the local context your firm operates in
  • An attractive opportunity for employees
  • Develops employee legal and soft skills in a supportive environment

How does the Kids in Need of Defense UK pro bono model work?

We provide training, resources and supervision to pro bono lawyers so that they can take on a citizenship or human rights case from end to end.

We currently work in London, the West Midlands and Scotland.   

If you start taking cases from Kids in Need of Defense UK we will:

  • Assign an experienced immigration lawyer to advise you and your lawyers
  • Offer training opportunities
  • Attend client appointments alongside your lawyers until they’re ready to go it alone
  • Provide your lawyers with template documents and legal resources to help them through the process
  • Check all advice, correspondence and legal submissions

Who does Kids in Need of Defense UK help?

We help children and young people that have no immigration status, cannot prove their British nationality or have a temporary form of residence. We aim to ensure that every child that comes to us for help is able to exercise the citizenship or leave rights to which they are entitled, and we also pursue discretionary applications for citizenship or leave where the client has a realistic prospect of success. Of the cases we’ve handled so far where we assessed a realistic prospect of success, we’ve obtained that successful outcome 98% of the time.

Many of the children and young people we help are undocumented. This means that they lack any documents to prove that they are British or otherwise allowed to lawfully remain or live in the UK.

Find out more about the problems undocumented children and young people face.

What is Kids in Need of Defense UK?

Kids in Need of Defense UK is a collaboration of legal advice charities that helps children and young people access high quality, specialist pro bono legal representation. The pro bono representation that we facilitate helps children and young people navigate the UK’s complex immigration system so that they can access their entitlement to British citizenship, secure permission to reside in the UK, and prevent human rights violations.