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IBA International Pro Bono

Visit the IBA Pro Bono Committee Webpage to see the 2018 slate of Officers and the new co-chairs!

IBA Pro Bono E-Bulletin

Message from Pamela Kovacs, Communications Officer, IBA Pro Bono Committee - 

Welcome to the fall e-bulletin, which features ongoing insights related to pro bono practice from colleagues spanning continents and operating in very different practice environments. Through these practical insights, our Committee hopes to help encourage legal professionals around the globe to deliver pro bono legal services more effectively, efficiently, and within the ethos of doing public good.

Featured Articles:

Africa and pro bono - is Africa behind, or different? 

Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Capabilities) in Poland

The pro bono class action that dislodged the issuance of irregular marriage certificates in Nigeria

How do we know if it is working? Practical approaches to evaluating pro bono work

Meet the Officer: David Flechner, Allen & Overy, NY

Annual Pro Bono Award Winner: Balazs Sahin-Toth


Past IBA Pro Bono Committee Newsletters - May 2017November 2016May 2016September 2015; May 2015October 2014

From the files Friday 

A regular feature highlighting a roundup of topical pro bono content from the Pro Bono Committee’s archives. For the month of December, we focus on anti-corruption efforts.

IBA Law Student representative Emily Wright examines how pro bono initiatives have helped identify and battle corruption in many countries.


  •  A Report by Linklaters and the Schwarb Foundation undertook a comparative study of legal, regulatory, and tax issues in Brazil, Germany, India, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The findings were presented at the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos and focused on the negative impact of corruption in corporate institutions. The report included country-specific proposals for improvement, including the use of stricter regulatory regimes which enable the law to prohibit corrupt practices.
  •  A 2006 study by lawyer Sudheer Shrestha focuses on the barriers to justice in Nepal, highlighting the ‘rampant corruption in courts’ which has ‘eroded faith’ in the judiciary and deterred people from seeking legal remedies. The report concludes by recognising the successes of various non-governmental organizations engaged in pro bono work to improve access to justice, particularly for poor and underprivileged members of society.
  •  The Canadian Bar Association’s Canada-China Legal Aid and Community Services Project aimed to improve access to justice in China. A report in 2007 noted concerns about corruption within the judiciary and the corrosive impact this has on public confidence in legal process. The project aimed to integrate and coordinate the legal aid system within communities by providing training and development for legal aid workers and increasing public awareness and the availability of information. All the training and legal aid technical support was provided voluntarily by lawyers from Canada. Additionally, the report noted the contribution of pro bono hours by Chinese lawyers in support of the project.
Latest Articles:

Refugee crisis accounts for huge spike in pro bono legal activity

The emergence of a highly active pro bono sector is among the most notable – and edifying – developments in legal practice over the last two decades. Increasing numbers of commercial lawyers, it appears, are seeking ways to apply their skills to the provision of life-changing support for those most in need. Within the last year, the international refugee crisis has provided significant additional impetus for pro bono work.

Click here for the full article

IBA Pro Bono Committee Chair featured in Who's Who Legal's Article, 'Pro Bono - The Inside Story'.

On 2 December 2013, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced that out-of-state lawyers employed as in-house counsel in New York would be able to provide pro bono legal services. This follows similar moves in Illinois, Virginia and Colorado. According to Lippman, only 20 per cent of the civil legal needs of New York's low-income residents were met in 2012 and the state hopes this development will help fill the gap.

Corporate pro bono is on the rise throughout the world and the timing could not be better - the difficult economic climate and legal aid cuts have led to a dramatically increased demand for free legal services from underprivileged sections of society. Recent developments throughout the world have helped to break down some of the barriers formerly hindering in-house counsel's involvement and have unleashed a section of the legal profession which was previously dormant. In this special feature, Who's Who Legal delves into the corporate world to find out the inside story of pro bono.

Click here for the full article.


Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net