Legal NFP powerhouses unite for global impact
14 November 2019 at 8:38 am
NFP collaboration to see pro bono lawyers connected to the vulnerable
The number of hours pro bono lawyers are working globally could double over the next five years thanks to a new online platform that will connect vulnerable people and communities to legal help.
The free platform was created in collaboration between Australian legal charity Justice Connect and international NFP PILnet, which collectively work with hundreds of law firms and over 10,000 pro bono lawyers, across 60 countries.
The platform will be based on Justice Connect’s domestic platform which digitally connects Australians and NFPs to pro bono lawyers from 49 firms across the country.
The global portal will be adapted to meet place-based requirements in jurisdictions around the world.
The number of requests the public have made for pro bono lawyers on the Australian platform has doubled since its launch in March, with no additional resourcing.
Each year, over 5 billion people have a legal issue, with many unable to access legal help.
Currently, 2.3 million hours are contributed pro bono by lawyers to justice projects each year globally, and Justice Connect said the number of lawyers and legal firms looking to undertake pro bono work was steadily increasing year on year.
Chris Povey, Justice Connect CEO, said he hoped the partnership would support and grow the work Justice Connect is already doing in Australia.
“This represents an opportunity to significantly scale the impact of our work, and to support the growth of pro bono and access to justice internationally,” Povey said.
Garth Meintjes, executive director of PILnet, said it would also help the two organisations better understand global trends in unmet legal needs.
“Not only does this represent a significant opportunity to help more people, but it will also enable us to understand global trends in unmet legal needs so that we can strategically allocate resources for greater impact,” Meintjes said.