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background_to_the_guide [2013/10/18 11:40]
jpbibby
background_to_the_guide [2013/10/18 11:45] (current)
jpbibby
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 ====== Background the guide ====== ====== Background the guide ======
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 +===== Why did PILnet and A4ID set out to create a clearinghouse manual? =====
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 +When PILnet and A4ID set out to produce the original Pro Bono Clearinghouse Manual the clearinghouses agreed a joint statement to explain their motivation for the project. That statement remains relevant to the growth of that project through this online manual.
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-**Joint Statement from PILnet and A4ID on the Online Clearinghouse Manual** +//​This ​manual ​represents an ongoing collaboration between [[http://​pilnet.org|PILnet:​ The Global Network for Public Interest Law (PILnet) ]] and [[http://​a4id.org|Advocates for International Development (A4ID)]] to develop best practices for operating pro bono clearinghouses in order to assist the development of pro bono clearinghouses globally.//
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-//​This ​site represents an ongoing collaboration between [[http://​pilnet.org|PILnet:​ The Global Network for Public Interest Law (PILnet) ]] and [[http://​a4id.org|Advocates for International Development (A4ID)]] to develop best practices for operating pro bono clearinghouses in order to assist the development of pro bono clearinghouses globally.//+
  
 //When PILnet first began working in Eastern Europe in 1997, one of its core goals was to enhance access to justice for socially vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged people. It developed strategies to reform legal aid systems and legal education, and it successfully facilitated critical reforms throughout the region. PILnet also helped build the advocacy capacity of civil society organizations by maximizing the reach of their work and their impact on the communities they serve.// //When PILnet first began working in Eastern Europe in 1997, one of its core goals was to enhance access to justice for socially vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged people. It developed strategies to reform legal aid systems and legal education, and it successfully facilitated critical reforms throughout the region. PILnet also helped build the advocacy capacity of civil society organizations by maximizing the reach of their work and their impact on the communities they serve.//
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-===== The Online ​Manual: the basics ​=====+===== The Manual: the Basics ​=====
  
-In many jurisdictions,​ free legal services have traditionally been available to those in need either informally, from solo practitioners and small firms on a pro bono basis, or through legal aid or non-profit organizations that employed lawyers to provide free services to specific categories of clients in need. More recently, however, and particularly during the last two decades, pro bono has  become a more institutionalized service within the legal profession. A number of factors have contributed to this. First, in some jurisdictions,​ cuts in government-funded legal aid programs challenged the legal profession to examine the availability of free legal services to those in need and to consider the profession’s role in providing such services on a pro bono basis. Second, as the size and globalization of law firms began to grow, many law firms started to institutionalize their firms’ pro bono work, in part in order to recruit top law school graduates and retain associates. Finally, many bar  associations began organizing non-profit pro bono programs and promoted volunteerism at law firms as an alternative to legal aid organizations. A critical contribution to the development of pro bono legal services has been the growth of pro  bono  clearinghouses—non-profit ​ organizations ​ that  help  promote ​ the  availability ​ and institutionalization of pro bono while acting as pro bono matchmakers,​ connecting those in need of free legal services with lawyers capable of providing it. The goal of this manual ​is to draw on the experiences of PILnet, A4ID and others to provide resources to new and developing pro bono clearinghouses globally.+In many jurisdictions,​ free legal services have traditionally been available to those in need either informally, from solo practitioners and small firms on a pro bono basis, or through legal aid or non-profit organizations that employed lawyers to provide free services to specific categories of clients in need. More recently, however, and particularly during the last two decades, pro bono has  become a more institutionalized service within the legal profession. A number of factors have contributed to this. First, in some jurisdictions,​ cuts in government-funded legal aid programs challenged the legal profession to examine the availability of free legal services to those in need and to consider the profession’s role in providing such services on a pro bono basis. Second, as the size and globalization of law firms began to grow, many law firms started to institutionalize their firms’ pro bono work, in part in order to recruit top law school graduates and retain associates. Finally, many bar  associations began organizing non-profit pro bono programs and promoted volunteerism at law firms as an alternative to legal aid organizations. A critical contribution to the development of pro bono legal services has been the growth of pro  bono  clearinghouses—non-profit ​ organizations ​ that  help  promote ​ the  availability ​ and institutionalization of pro bono while acting as pro bono matchmakers,​ connecting those in need of free legal services with lawyers capable of providing it. The goal of this site is to draw on the experiences of PILnet, A4ID and others to provide resources to new and developing pro bono clearinghouses globally.
  
 This project has been prepared jointly by Advocates for International Development (A4ID) and This project has been prepared jointly by Advocates for International Development (A4ID) and
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 A4ID is a charity registered in England and Wales and an international NGO that plays a strategic ​ role in creating effective and efficient solutions to eradicating global poverty by utilizing the law and harnessing the skills of the legal profession to meet development needs. A4ID is a charity registered in England and Wales and an international NGO that plays a strategic ​ role in creating effective and efficient solutions to eradicating global poverty by utilizing the law and harnessing the skills of the legal profession to meet development needs.
    
-A4ID inspires and enables lawyers ((Throughout this manualthe authors use the terms “lawyers” and “law firms” interchangeably. ​ When the authors use the term “lawyer” it does not necessarily mean that a clearinghouse should ​ bypass any appropriate pro bono coordinators,​ committees or specially-assigned pro bono partners that exist within the law firm structure.))to play an active role in the fight against poverty and ensures that legal support is available to organizations involved in international development. This is achieved through its global network of leading law firms, chambers and in-house legal teams who provide pro bono legal assistance to A4ID’s international development partners that include local charities, global NGOs, social enterprises,​ bar associations and developing country governments. The legal support offered through this clearinghouse allows A4ID’s partners to operate more effectively,​ and thus  increase their impact. It also assists them in influencing legislation and policy decisions, protecting rights and building a strong rule of law, in order to meet international development goals.+A4ID inspires and enables lawyers ((Throughout this site, the terms “lawyers” and “law firms” interchangeably. ​ When the authors use the term “lawyer” it does not necessarily mean that a clearinghouse should ​ bypass any appropriate pro bono coordinators,​ committees or specially-assigned pro bono partners that exist within the law firm structure.))to play an active role in the fight against poverty and ensures that legal support is available to organizations involved in international development. This is achieved through its global network of leading law firms, chambers and in-house legal teams who provide pro bono legal assistance to A4ID’s international development partners that include local charities, global NGOs, social enterprises,​ bar associations and developing country governments. The legal support offered through this clearinghouse allows A4ID’s partners to operate more effectively,​ and thus  increase their impact. It also assists them in influencing legislation and policy decisions, protecting rights and building a strong rule of law, in order to meet international development goals.
  
 In partnership with lawyers and development organizations,​ A4ID also works to raise awareness and share knowledge about the role law can play in tackling poverty, in order to develop more effective and sustainable responses to development challenges. This is done through a program of education events, seminars and debates, as well as the dissemination of current thinking around issues of concern related to law and development. In partnership with lawyers and development organizations,​ A4ID also works to raise awareness and share knowledge about the role law can play in tackling poverty, in order to develop more effective and sustainable responses to development challenges. This is done through a program of education events, seminars and debates, as well as the dissemination of current thinking around issues of concern related to law and development.
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 PILnet also helps replicate its model by providing technical assistance, know-how exchange and other forms of coordination to partner clearinghouses in Europe and elsewhere, including nascent efforts in India, Nigeria, and Hong Kong. It also organizes the annual European Pro Bono Forum to provide a dynamic, multinational platform for exchange of information,​ skills transfer and networking related to pro bono activities on an increasingly global scale. PILnet also helps replicate its model by providing technical assistance, know-how exchange and other forms of coordination to partner clearinghouses in Europe and elsewhere, including nascent efforts in India, Nigeria, and Hong Kong. It also organizes the annual European Pro Bono Forum to provide a dynamic, multinational platform for exchange of information,​ skills transfer and networking related to pro bono activities on an increasingly global scale.
  
-This manual ​draws on the experiences of A4ID, PILnet and others in starting and managing pro bono clearinghouses.+This site draws on the experiences of A4ID, PILnet and others in starting and managing pro bono clearinghouses.
  
-The intention of this site is not to say that there is one right way to start and manage a pro bono clearinghouse. There is not. Instead, careful thought is required taking into account culture and context so that a clearinghouse meets local need appropriately and effectively. It is hoped that this manual ​will act as a starting point for that process so that the shared learning of PILnet and A4ID can help to inform and encourage others working to enable access to lawyers for those otherwise unable to afford it.+The intention of this site is not to say that there is one right way to start and manage a pro bono clearinghouse. There is not. Instead, careful thought is required taking into account culture and context so that a clearinghouse meets local need appropriately and effectively. It is hoped that this site will act as a starting point for that process so that the shared learning of PILnet and A4ID can help to inform and encourage others working to enable access to lawyers for those otherwise unable to afford it.
  
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-The following ​guide offers practical tools, advice and personal accounts for how to start and maintain a clearinghouse. The initial chapters introduce the concept of clearinghouses and detail the procedures for setting up and successfully running a clearinghouse,​ including who will be helped, how to involve the legal community, referring matters and follow-up communications. The later chapters focus on communication. Specifically,​ they detail how to create a supportive environment for pro bono practice and how to develop a strategy for publicizing the pro bono activities of the clearinghouse. Finally, we provide brief chapters on financial sustainability and+The guide offers practical tools, advice and personal accounts for how to start and maintain a clearinghouse. The initial chapters introduce the concept of clearinghouses and detail the procedures for setting up and successfully running a clearinghouse,​ including who will be helped, how to involve the legal community, referring matters and follow-up communications. The later chapters focus on communication. Specifically,​ they detail how to create a supportive environment for pro bono practice and how to develop a strategy for publicizing the pro bono activities of the clearinghouse. Finally, we provide brief chapters on financial sustainability and
 useful contacts. useful contacts.
  
 Throughout, we  provide ​ examples ​ and  refer  to  documents ​ that  we  believe ​ illustrate ​ and supplement what is being discussed in the text of the guide. The appendix contains this set of documents, which are included for illustrative purposes only. These tools provide examples of the different ways clearinghouses operate, so we encourage you to use them practically. There is no right way to run a pro bono clearinghouse,​ and varying cultures and contexts will dictate how to operate a particular clearinghouse. It is our hope that learning from the experiences of other clearinghouses will serve as a positive example and will help guide the creation of a successful clearinghouse. Throughout, we  provide ​ examples ​ and  refer  to  documents ​ that  we  believe ​ illustrate ​ and supplement what is being discussed in the text of the guide. The appendix contains this set of documents, which are included for illustrative purposes only. These tools provide examples of the different ways clearinghouses operate, so we encourage you to use them practically. There is no right way to run a pro bono clearinghouse,​ and varying cultures and contexts will dictate how to operate a particular clearinghouse. It is our hope that learning from the experiences of other clearinghouses will serve as a positive example and will help guide the creation of a successful clearinghouse.
background_to_the_guide.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/18 11:45 by jpbibby