In order to inspire lawyers to advance the public interest and strengthen the ability of civil society to influence laws and policies and assist individuals in need, PILnet develops pro bono (or volunteer) legal practice around the world. Although in recent years, lawyers and firms have become increasingly willing to undertake pro bono matters, they often lack a direct connection to the community. PILnet’s pro bono clearinghouses in Hungary, Russia, China and its cross-border Global Pro Bono Clearinghouse serve to bridge that gap between lawyers seeking opportunities to provide free legal help and those who need it.
PILnet also helps replicate its model by providing technical assistance, know-how exchange and other forms of coordination to partner clearinghouses developing in other European countries, such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania. It also organizes the annual European Pro Bono Forum to provide a dynamic, multi-national platform for exchange of information, skills transfer and networking related to pro bono activities in continental Europe and beyond.
European Pro Bono Forum
PILnet’s European Pro Bono Forum brings together lawyers and NGO representatives to explore how they can best collaborate to address the most critical issues of social justice. The Forum offers an unparalleled opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge of issues relating to European pro bono law. Through interactive workshops, engaging social events, and structured networking opportunities, seasoned practitioners and newcomers alike gain insight into the pro bono community and forge alliances that can help deliver justice and protect rights around the world. learn more»
Get Involved in Pro Bono
PILnet provides free-of-charge matchmaking services to secure pro bono assistance for NGOs. If you are a lawyer and would like to volunteer your legal expertise, follow the "Get Involved Now" button and click on a clearinghouse near you to send an email to the contact person. For those interested in cross-border pro bono work, click on PILnet's Global Pro Bono Clearinghouse located in Budapest.
If you represent an organization in need of legal assistance, you can do the same. You can also download the Guidelines for NGOs that we use for PILnet Clearinghouses.
Pro Bono Newssee all pro bono news
21 November 2016
On November 17, PILnet announced the recipients of this year’s European Pro Bono Awards in a ceremony held as part of the 10th Annual European Pro Bono Forum. Reed Smith received the Exemplary Partnership in the Public Interest Award for its work with Greek NGO METAdrasi, the Romanian NGO ACTEDO received the Award for Local Pro Bono Impact, and Intigam Aliyev received the newly established European Publico Award. Read more
White & Case and ECPAT International (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) have been shortlisted for PILnet’s 2016 European Award for Exemplary Partnership in the Public Interest. Together, this law firm and NGO conducted the first comprehensive global study of substantive and procedural law related to online child sexual exploitation. New technologies—from cloud computing to the dark web—have made online child sexual exploitation (OCSE) more pervasive than ever. Read more
06 November 2016
Aneta Sieradzka has been shortlisted for PILnet’s 2016 European Award for Local Pro Bono Impact for her work to change health care regulations in Poland. As a young lawyer based in Poland, she led the efforts of the LexFirma Law Firm in Cracow to update and inform the public on the new government’s laws on health care provision and access to treatment. Read more
Pro Bono Resourcessee all pro bono resources
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Using the Power of Law for the Public Interest A Report by Lamin Khadar for the 10th Annual European Pro Bono Forum A modern pro bono movement is beginning to emerge in Europe. Although the tradition of pro bono practice stretches as far back as ancient and medieval Europe, modern pro bono practice has been developed anew, especially since the 1990s, by NGOs, foundations, and private lawyers. The emergence of modern pro bono practice in Europe was aided by the growth and internationalization of US and UK law firms committed to the institutionalization of pro bono in all of their offices, which has also coincided with a decline in legal aid in Europe. This report documents the long history of pro bono in Europe, with a special emphasis on developments in the past 10 years, which have witnessed significant activity toward building a culture of and the infrastructure for pro bono practice in Europe. Some of the field’s central debates and dilemmas, especially for its future, are captured here as a part of that review. This summary is a general overview of the issues covered in PILnet’s 10-year report, put together by Lamin Khadar. The full report, in a PDF printable version, will cover all of these issues in depth and will be available on this page shortly. Read more