The 6th European Pro Bono Week (EPBW) marked a week of celebration and commitment to access to justice across Europe. Held collaboratively by PILnet, the European Pro Bono Initiative (EPBI), law firms, and regional pro bono organizations, the week saw a diverse range of events in 11 countries: Poland, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. Below are some key takeaways from the events in the participating countries.

Poland: Organized by Centrum Pro Bono together with the firm, GIDE, the main takeaway was embracing inclusivity. The event highlighted the far-reaching benefits of NGOs supporting people with disabilities, showing how their work enriches the entire community. The focus here was on the positive impact NGOs have on society, with a roundtable discussion involving lawyers, university legal clinics, and NGOs.

Poland EPBW 2024

Spain: Organized by Fundacion Pro Bono España and Fundacion Fernando Pombo the main takeaway from this event was using Pro bono work as a catalyst for social change, inspiring young lawyers to commit to transformative legal practices, especially in supporting people with disabilities. A range of discussions addressed the transformative power of law and the importance of collaboration between stakeholders. The event showcased innovative projects like training guides for children with autism and initiatives for including people with intellectual disabilities in law firms, capped by a compelling dialogue on new legal regimes for supporting people with disabilities.

Spanish EPBW 2024

Hungary: Organized by PILnet, the main takeaway from this event was bridging the rural divide through pro bono. The Hungarian Pro Bono Day educated NGOs on identifying legal needs and leveraging free legal services through the Hungarian Clearinghouse, fostering a culture of legal volunteerism.

Hungarian Pro Bono day 2024

Germany: There were two events that directly addressed the need for improved legal frameworks to support pro bono work. Discussions emphasized the importance of pro bono services and the need for legal reforms to meet the growing demand for free legal aid.

German EPBW 2024



On June 10, the event was organized by UPJ Pro Bono Rechtsberatung and the main takeaway was a call for unity and the need for collaboration among various legal aid providers. The event also addressed the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations, particularly in politically sensitive environments.



German EPBW 2024 



On June 12, the event was organized by Pro Bono Deutschland and the takeaway was advocating for improved legal frameworks to support pro bono work, ensuring better access to free legal advice. The discussion underscored the necessity for legal reforms to reduce uncertainties and better accommodate the growing demand for Pro Bono legal assistance.




Italy: The seventh Italy Pro Bono day marked the tenth anniversary of the Italian Pro Bono Roundtable. Conversations focused on navigating new frontiers. The event organized by Pro Bono Italia and hosted by Dentons, curated a series of presentations of new nonprofits, an engaging conversation around the Pro Bono Italia and CSVNET clearinghouse annual report, and a joint seminar on the role of organized civil society in the age of AI in collaboration with The Good Lobby, AIGI and I-Com Istituto per la Competitività. A key takeaway from this particular discussion was that leveraging AI to enhance the positive impact of NGOs may bring about undesired results in terms of inequality if proper safeguarding measures are not put in place.

Italy EPBW 2024

Other Participating Countries: Events across Ukraine, Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, France, and the Netherlands addressed various themes, including fostering pro bono culture among legal professionals, sharing best practices, and exploring the role of pro bono in social change and access to justice. 

Ukraine’s key takeaway was having resilience amid adversity. Luxembourg’s roundtable discussion aimed at fostering pro bono culture among Luxembourg’s legal professionals, setting the stage for a steering committee to translate ideas into action. Ireland’s event was organized by The Pro Bono Week Committee, prominent law firms and the Voluntary Assistance Scheme of the Bar Council. The event highlighted the need to ensure sustainable solutions for unaccompanied migrant children in Ireland, emphasized by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). The event also discussed a nationwide commitment, specifically the role of European lawyers in supporting civil society and promoting access to justice.

Belgium’s event, hosted by Dentons, called for collaboration and innovation and featured thought-provoking discussions from civil society and legal professionals, discussing the current state and future of pro bono work in Belgium, as part of the quarterly Brussels Pro Bono Roundtable.

France’s event focused on sharing experiences, especially around addressing current legal needs for pro bono lawyers and was organized by Freshfields Bruckhaus.

The Netherlands event had joint hosting of different sessions by Bird & Bird and Clifford Chance. The main agenda was reflecting on nearly a decade of pro bono work efforts and featured workshops on defamation and SLAPPs, discussions on ESG, and strategic litigation, culminating in an interactive session to identify future opportunities.

Overall, the 6th EPBW highlighted the growing importance of pro bono legal services in Europe. The week continues to serve as a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and advocacy for legal reforms that can further strengthen pro bono ecosystems across the continent.

Additionally, this year, the events emphasized the human element of pro bono work, showcasing the dedication of lawyers and NGOs working together to ensure everyone has access to justice. We look forward to celebrating the seventh European Pro Bono Week next year during the summer.