skip to content

IBA International Pro Bono

Read the IBA Pro Bono Committee Newsletter, May 2017


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

From the files Friday 

A regular feature highlighting a roundup of topical pro bono content. As September ushers in a new school year in many parts of the world, IBA Law Student Committee member Emily Wright provides examples of contributions by law students to the practice of pro bono law, which include:


• University exchanges: universities in the United States and Liberia partnered to establish the Liberia Access to Justice Practicum. This year long course ultimately aimed to improve access to justice in Liberia’s penal system. The study culminated in a visit by the US students to their Liberian counterparts to review the country’s prison system. As a result of the students’ report, new processes were implemented to help streamline Liberia’s court procedures.

• Law student initiatives: law student Ibrahim Olabi founded the Syrian Legal Development Programme which aims to promote and protect the rule of law and human rights in his home country of Syria. Similarly, the Bars in their Eyes project was established by Alex Simmons and sees student lawyers work with prison resettlement staff to inform prisoners of their legal rights and obligations under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to ensure detainees don’t unfairly lose out on employment opportunities upon their release.

• Student legal clinics: a review of academic legal clinics in Poland makes for heartening reading as it reports on the effectiveness of supervised students providing informal signposting services on various legal issues including children’s law, medical law and refugee law to individuals in need, strengthening access to justice.

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