The Law Society is committed to pro bono that supports access to justice and rule of law around the world. We recognise that an increasing amount of our members' pro bono work is offered to international clients, much of which focuses on education, human rights, nonprofits and charity law. We are here to support and celebrate the work carried out by our members in other jurisdictions, as well as providing our members with opportunities to get involved with our own international projects.
We sit on the attorney general's international pro bono committee and are involved in the Department for International Development's work on an international pro bono project.
Here at the Law Society we run our 'Lawyers for Lawyers' programme which seeks to defend the independence of the justice system and the legal profession from undue restrictions or sanctions. The programme seeks to protect and support lawyers and judges who face intimidation or physical attack for carrying out their legitimate professional duties. See Human rights work at the Law Society.
Find out more about our International Team who provide practical support, training, information and advice to law firms and legal professionals working abroad or exploring international opportunities.
International pro bono charities and opportunities
International Senior Lawyers Project
ISLP provides the pro bono services of highly skilled and experienced lawyers to promote human rights, equitable and sustainable economic development and the rule of law worldwide. It assists governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other institutions working to build legal capacity and to advance the rights and wellbeing of their citizens.
Visit the ISLP website
Legal Response Initiative
The international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are among the most complex multilateral law and policy making process ever. The Legal Response Initiative (LRI) seeks to create a more level playing field between actors in the climate change negotiations.
LRI provides free legal support to poor and particularly climate-vulnerable developing countries as well as civil society observer organisations. It works through a network of lawyers from law firms, barrister chambers and universities in different jurisdictions who give hands-on assistance during meetings, draft legal opinions or build the capacity of lawyers and negotiators from developing countries.
Visit the LRI website
Advocates for International Development is a charity that empowers lawyers to use their skills to fight world poverty. Through their pro bono broker and legal education services they help the legal sector meet its global corporate social responsibility to bring about world development.
Visit the A4ID website
TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global pro bono service that connects NGOs and social enterprises with the best law firms around the world. Launched in 2010, TrustLaw has grown to include over 2,000 members in over 170 countries.
Visit the TrustLaw website
Visit the PILnet website
As the UK legal pro bono community scales up its role in delivering international assistance, monitoring and evaluation of projects and activities has become an increasingly important tool, helping those providing their time and skills free of charge to deliver the impact they seek.
The why, what and how of monitoring and evaluation: guidance for providers of international pro bono legal assistance (PDF 2Mb) aims to demystify some of the concepts around monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and to demonstrate its value for those delivering pro bono services internationally.
This guidance was produced by the Department for International Development funded Legal Assistance for Economic Reform Programme (LASER). Through a focus on commercial law and justice issues, LASER's objective is to improve investment climates in developing countries. A key goal of the programme is matching developing country demand for support with the supply of high quality, developmentally appropriate legal assistance; including that provided on a pro bono basis. LASER is managed by a consortium of The Law and Development Partnership and KPMG.
Visit the LASER website
The Rule of Law Expertise Programme (ROLE UK) is a new initiative funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) which aims to improve the rule of law by facilitating access to UK justice sector expertise in response to demand from DfID priority countries. Experts will provide specialist information, advice, mentoring, training or other assistance to improve the policies, capacity and practices underpinning the rule of law in 28 jurisdictions around the world. The programme will also share learning and best practice in providing legal technical assistance and improve co-ordination of the UK’s international pro-bono legal community.
The website is now live with further information on applying for assistance and getting involved.
Visit the ROLE website