Pro Bono

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. 

Get Involved Now

Pro Bono News

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Pro Bono Resources

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  • Report

    The Growth of Pro Bono in Europe europe, pro bono

    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