Pro Bono News

IBA brings together legal pro bono practitioners around the world through website

Thursday, September 25, 2008

  • International Bar Association

IBA brings together legal pro bono practitioners around the world through website

A new website,, has been developed by the International Bar Association (IBA) to promote and support pro bono legal work and access to justice at both national and international levels. It enables legal professionals worldwide to exchange and share experiences and information on pro bono initiatives across jurisdictions, with the aim of facilitating best practice in the design and delivery of pro bono services.

The website provides links to practitioners and organisations engaged in pro bono legal work, for users to locate and contact others who are participating in similar work, or in work on which they would like to model their own. It features news items related to pro bono work, and an ever-expanding library of material from organisations and individuals undertaking pro bono work, including presentations on pro bono work from conferences held by the IBA. A calendar of local, regional, and international pro bono events alerts site users to all opportunities to meet and network.

A special section of the site will feature original content on best practices in certain thematic areas, in order to foster dialogue on ways to strengthen and support pro bono and access to justice initiatives. The inaugural topic will focus on university law clinics, led by an article from the IBA Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee, on the pro bono clinical programme at American University's Washington College of Law. Further articles and dialogue will be solicited around different themes related to pro bono and access to justice.

Philip Zeidman, of the IBA Public and Professional Interest Division, who led the initiative to create the IBA International Pro Bono website, said, "The website brings together pro bono practitioners at all levels around the world, as well as those who are interested in getting involved in pro bono work. In addition, it specifically promotes legal pro bono work as an integral part of the legal profession; promotes the development of a strong international legal pro bono network; provides recognition to those participating in innovative international pro bono work; and encourages leadership and support of legal professionals contributing to pro bono activity and work. Prior to the development of the website, the 'Best in International Pro Bono' sessions, held at the IBA Annual Conference, usefully identified how and where pro bono work was being carried out, but the audience was limited to those attending the conference. The IBA International Pro Bono website allows an unlimited reach, is not restricted by geography and is accessible 24 hours a day. It is proving a valuable resource."

Haji Sulaiman Abdullah, Chair of the IBA Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee said, 'We believe the site will prove very useful to all of our members, whether their practice involves international pro bono work or is limited to the development of pro bono within their own jurisdictions. The Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee has always sought to encourage 'best practices' in the delivery of pro bono legal work and expects that the website will prove most beneficial in this regard."