Solicitors launch site to offer free legal advice
Hong Kong's solicitors yesterday launched an a website offering free legal advice to people in need.
More than 90 law firms have signed up to offer services on the Law Society's new web page, www.hklawsoc.org.hk/probono.
Visitors to the site can consult a list of firms specialising in the areas in which they need advice, and contact them by phone to arrange up to 45 minutes of free legal consultation.
Users who leave their leave their contact information could expect return calls within one or two days, the society said.
'A person may need to consult a lawyer on how to claim compensation if water has dripped from a residential unit above his home, or when if he is injured at work,' said Melissa Pang, a Law Society council member.
Pang said the site would 'serve as link between service providers and prospective users'.
The service was open to all, she added. While the primary aim was to assist the underprivileged, the Law Society, which is the professional body representing Hong Kong solicitors, said it would not set any eligibility requirements on those seeking help as it was not feasible to screen people over the phone.
'According to government statistics, in 2008 about 37 per cent of solicitors participated in pro bono services,' Law Society vice-president Dieter Yih Lai-tak said.
'Through organised pro bono service projects, we hope to let our members better understand the needs of grass-roots residents and give them suitable legal support.
'We would also like the public to know that Hong Kong lawyers are dedicated to serving the community outside work.'
The society yesterday staged a roving exhibition on its free services at Olympian City, Kowloon. It will be at Youth Square, Wan Chai, from tomorrow until August 12.
The number of solicitors with a current practising certificate, according to the Law Society