In Hong Kong, pro bono lawyering is still in an early development phase, especially as compared to legal cultures in Europe, the United States, or Singapore. PILnet helps to address this gap by raising awareness of pro bono and its benefits through workshops and trainings for interested legal practitioners to equip them with the skills and knowledge to support the civil society and the communities they serve in Hong Kong. PILnet also regularly organizes “lunch and learns” and pro bono 101 trainings in Hong Kong for lawyers new to pro bono.
With these skills, lawyers can provide pro bono support to civil society organizations through PILnet’s Clearinghouses. To allow for maximum impact, PILnet creates customized strategic partnerships between NGOs and social enterprises and lawyers, depending on their expertise, interest areas, and capacity.
For a deeper learning experience, similar to PILnet’s long-running International Fellowship Program, the Asia Regional Fellowship Program offers a chance for civil society leaders and public interest lawyers to exchange expertise through externships at organizations in another country in the region. These externships provide advocates with first-hand experience working and learning new and creative methods to employ the law for the public interest.