Published January 2020
Law firm partners know that pro bono is key to improving access to justice, but developing a strong practice can be a challenge. Every year, Latin Lawyer partners with the Cyrus R Vance Center for International Justice to conduct a survey to measure the progress of this development across the region’s legal markets, share best practices and celebrate the achievements of the practitioners leading the way.
Law firms that stand out for the pro bono work done by their lawyers and for their efforts to build a lasting pro bono infrastructure, both internally and in their legal market.
With the help of dedicated clearing houses and determined pro bono coordinators, Latin American law firms are delivering free legal advice to the people who most need it – and, more than ever, they want to talk about their achievements.
Christina McKeon Frutuoso speaks to Carolina Zang, the managing partner of Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados. Her firm was the winner of Latin Lawyer’s Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award in 2019.
Christina McKeon Frutuoso speaks to Prieto partner and pro bono coordinator Cristóbal Raby, and senior associate Juan Andrés Ilharreborde (who heads the firm’s work with Chile’s clearing house, Fundación Pro Bono). They told us about their work with Fundación Desafío Levantemos Chile to help provide relief after the worst wildfires in Chilean history. The initiative was the recipient of Latin Lawyer’s Pro Bono Project of the Year Award in 2019.
Perhaps no other image best captures the desperation of Latin America’s poorest and most vulnerable migrants than that of La bestia, a freight train route commonly used by Central American migrants to reach the US. On their journeys to new lives, people on the move in Latin America face legal uncertainty, vulnerability and alienation. This has necessitated an unprecedented need for pro bono counsel from lawyers, finds Latin Lawyer.
Our latest survey continues to evidence the great efforts Latin American law firms are making to adopt pro bono into their culture. Ahead of publishing the full results on what institutional measures law firms are doing to promote pro bono, today we take a look at an area in which many law firms have reported doing work: migration.