The Ukraine Advice Project has renewed its appeal for lawyers to provide immigration advice for people fleeing the war-torn country.
Set up on 28 February by six immigration lawyers volunteering in their spare time, within two weeks the project had registered over 430 volunteer lawyers and given pro bono advice on almost 700 requests.
John Vassiliou of Shepherd and Wedderburn, one of the founders, said the project warmly thanked all members of the Law Society of Scotland who had given their time to provide UK immigration advice to Ukrainian refugees. The response from the profession had been "humbling, and somewhat overwhelming".
"This was a small project set up by six friends from across the UK working for free in their spare time", he commented. "The project grew to a scale that became unmanageable for the six of us alongside our existing work commitments. We are therefore delighted to confirm that the law firm DLA Piper has agreed to provide us with desperately needed help. DLA Piper’s pro bono team will draw on their experience running a similar initiative for Afghan refugees to triage and manage requests for advice and offers of assistance from volunteer lawyers."
Members of the Society who have signed up for the project have already received an email outlining the changes in more detail. Those who have indicated available capacity to give pro bono advice will begin receiving advice requests directly from DLA Piper.
"The project is still desperate for more volunteers", Mr Vassiliou added. "We realise there is a finite pool of available lawyers, so if you are reading this and have previously volunteered, please do consider reaching out to DLA Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for another case. Demand for advice remains very high."
Individuals requiring free advice on their immigration position as a consequence of the invasion of Ukraine can also request this by contacting email@example.com. Solicitors are welcome to circulate this information around their organisations and communities.