On 20 March 2024, the Hong Kong Pro Bono Roundtable gathered for the first meeting of the year to discuss pro bono trends, as well as goals for 2024. PILnet opened the discussion with an overview of the main legal needs we’ve seen arise through our Clearinghouse and Legal Health Check programs. Local Hong Kong NGO Time Auction then explained how they address both legal and non-legal needs of NGOs, including their new “Call with Experts” feature where volunteers can “donate” time to consult NGOs on a wide variety of topics.

The second half of the meeting featured a group discussion moderated by Latham & Watkins. Participants shared about their respective firms’ and in-house teams’ pro bono priorities for 2024. Common themes that emerged included the environment and sustainability, empowering women and minorities, and building the resilience of CSOs. Some law firms also actively engage with students and young professionals through fellowship programs and digital resources. To wrap up the event, we welcomed two law students from the University of Hong Kong, who shared about the newly formed Asia-Pacific Climate-Conscious Law Student and Young Lawyers Network.

Many thanks to Latham & Watkins for hosting this quarter’s Roundtable, and we look forward to more fruitful discussions on pro bono in the coming months!