Public Interest Lawyering
In order to strengthen civil society and inspire lawyers to advance the public interest, PILnet builds the capacity of public interest lawyers working in NGOs through fellowships, skills-building workshops, resource dissemination and other means. Through an International Fellows Program and national fellows programs, such as in China, law students are encouraged to develop public interest law careers, NGO staff improve their skills, and civil society initiatives have a greater likelihood of success and impact in influencing law and policy.
PILnet’s trainings and workshops help connect public interest advocates to each other across issues and borders, in places as diverse as Europe, Russia, and China, so that they are well equipped and awakened to what is possible to achieve in their local contexts. These activities are helping to build national and global networks of pioneers and leaders dedicated to using legal tools to advance the public interest.
Public Interest Lawyering NewsSee all Public Interest Lawyering News
Standing on the front lines of public interest advocacy, PILnet’s International Fellows in China are faced with critical questions of strategy. Is legal aid the most effective way to advance the interests of the public, or is NGO advocacy? Or perhaps engaging the private sector through pro bono? Read more
28 March 2013
After more than a decade of brutal civil war in Nepal, a peace treaty was signed in 2006—the same year PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law welcomed its first Nepali advocates to the International Fellows program. Since then, the Fellowship has included leading Nepali human rights lawyers in every class, in the process building an influential cadre of advocates who are deeply involved in shaping the country’s constitution and its legal system. Read more
Public Interest Lawyering Resources
PILnet and A4ID, November 2011. This publication provides detailed information about setting up a pro bono clearinghouse--requirements, considerations, strategies for success, and more. Includes an extensive collection of resources. Read more
- Year: 2009
- Location: Nigeria
- Area of Advocacy: Economic, Social, Cultural Rights
- Organization: Justice Research Institute, People's Advice Center
Reading and Rights in Nigeria: A PILnet Interview
PILnet: One centerpiece of the PILnet Fellowship is the legal project each Fellow develops aimed at advancing justice in their home country. Yours is already having an impact in Nigeria—can you fill us in?
Folusho Shado: The project I developed concerns the right to education in Nigeria. This is a right that's on the books here but the requirement that all citizens receive a basic education is really just an aspiration. I wanted to address that gap and find ways to close it.
The project’s main strategies involve educational outreach, advocacy, policy analysis, and legal action. A sister organization, the Orderly Society Trust, has already taken on the educational component. They’ve started about ten alternative schools in different areas and have begun a literacy program targeted at adults. Classes are free and they’re offered at times when adults are able to attend.See Folusho's Bio »