In the Beijing municipal government's first appointment of full-time lawyers, 17 legal aid lawyers have received their licenses issued by the Judiciary Bureau of the Beijing Municipality.
These lawyers, formerly working as independent professionals, will work as government functionaries when serving their clients -- the underprivileged in society, including the needy and disadvantaged, the elderly people or the handicapped, who cannot afford legal fees.
The lawyers, appointed by the courts or local government last Friday, will provide free legal aid according to relevant State requirements.
Nevertheless, they are not allowed to provide paid services, take part-time jobs in law firms or act as legal agents in non-government cases, according to the bureau's regulations.
(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2003)