As the world faces an unprecedented set of challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Thomson Reuters Foundation is leveraging its unique blend of journalism and legal skills to strengthen the global response. Our global pro bono legal network, TrustLaw, is working closely with our legal partners to increase efforts to provide dedicated pro bono support during these challenging times.
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TrustLaw was created to spread excellence in the practice of pro bono and drive social change worldwide.
Free legal assistance: Our free legal service enables NGOs and social enterprises to streamline operations, expand into new countries and scale their impact. This helps them focus on their mission without spending valuable resources on their legal needs.
Research: Our research programmes are powerful advocacy tools that enable TrustLaw’s NGO and social enterprise members to achieve unprecedented legal and policy reforms and strengthen the rule of law. We have helped change legislation to support victims of violence, assisted advocacy efforts to combat sex discrimination and supported legal reform activities to strengthen the rights of the LGBT community.
Training and events: We run accredited legal training on social enterprise and impact investing as well as capacity-building workshops and webinars to provide practical guidance on legal issues relevant to NGOs and social enterprises.
Tools and resources: TrustLaw produces a wide range of tools to help our NGO and social enterprise members address their legal needs and support their advocacy efforts. We also provide legal teams with the resources to build and strengthen their pro bono practice, navigate regulatory requirements and engage in successful pro bono partnerships.
Where we are
The TrustLaw team is spread around the globe, with staff in Argentina, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Spain, Thailand, the UK and the US.
Free Legal Assistance
Our free legal service enables NGOs and social enterprises to streamline operations, expand into new countries and scale their impact. This helps them focus on their mission without spending valuable resources on their legal needs.
We work with hundreds of legal teams representing over 120,000 lawyers who volunteer their time, skills and expertise to help NGOs and social enterprises achieve their social mission.
Through TrustLaw, lawyers can provide free legal assistance to organisations facing challenges that transcend borders, enhancing the spread and depth of pro bono work in jurisdictions relatively unfamiliar to the practice.
How it Works
TrustLaw is a completely free service. Once they become members, NGOs and social enterprises can request free legal support, and lawyers can volunteer to work on projects that interest them.
Infographic for NGOs and Social Enterprises Infographic for Lawyers
TrustLaw is the largest global pro bono network with over 4,000 members across more than 175 countries. We work with hundreds of legal teams representing over 120,000 lawyers who generously provide free legal support to thousands of NGOs and social enterprises.
TrustLaw has regional and global reach. Our network includes both large international law firms and smaller domestic firms, in-house legal teams and individual lawyers. All members are qualified in their respective jurisdictions and meet local bar association requirements.View members
With a presence in over 175 countries, we support more than 4,000 organisations with free legal assistance. Our NGO and social enterprise members address a wealth of different issues, including women’s rights, human trafficking and slavery, refugees and forced migration, LGBT rights, freedom of expression, environmental and land rights.See our membership criteria for NGOs and social enterprises.View members
Our Referral Partner network of funders and award bodies ensures that we can have the widest reach possible. Through these partnerships, we aim to support their grantees, fellows, members and award winners with free legal assistance.View members
"The IRC would highly recommend partnering with TrustLaw for any organisation with limited capacity to conduct legal analysis. Without the support of Latham & Watkins it would have been impossible to obtain the level of legal expertise required to protect refugees adequately. We are deeply grateful to TrustLaw for their support"David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee
"TrustLaw has been instrumental in helping us launch and sustain cutting edge projects that protect the rights of girls and women both nationally and internationally. They have supported our work with Orrick to combat online sexual violence, identified by the FBI as the fastest growing threat to children and teens. The work has been published in a highly acclaimed report “A Call to Action: Ending Sextortion in the Digital Age"Carol Robles-Román, President and CEO, Legal Momentum
"We could not accomplish what we do globally without our partnership with TrustLaw. TrustLaw provides critical legal services to hundreds of social enterprises, charities and nonprofits, and it enables lawyers to experience the joy and gratification of contributing engaging in pro bono work, in some cases for the very first time."Wendy Atrokhov, Public Service Counsel, Latham & Watkins
"Every week, TrustLaw connects us to an exceptional choice of matters that reflect today’s pressing issues. In doing so, TrustLaw has created an extraordinary marketplace for pro bono services — one that has helped global law firms spread their wings."Hugh Verrier, Chairman, White & Case
"Our lawyers always enjoy the projects we receive from TrustLaw more than the pro bono projects we find on our own, as they present more complex legal issues to work on. More importantly, we know these projects are mission-critical to our pro bono clients. Through this work, we can have a real impact on the future of the client’s operations."Andrew Stoutley, Director of Administration, Tilleke & Gibbins
Stories of Impact
Read the latest stories of impact featuring the lawyers, NGOs and social enterprises committed to using the law to fight for social change.
The TrustLaw Awards is an annual ceremony to celebrate groundbreaking pro bono work undertaken by legal teams on behalf of NGOs and social enterprises around the world.
Impact Award: projects that demonstrate significant, wide-ranging impact for an NGO or social enterprise, their community, and beyond.
Innovation Award: projects that feature not only a new and exciting idea or enterprise, but a legal team that used creativity in addressing the issues faced.
Collaboration Award: projects that showcase excellence working relationships between legal teams, NGOs and social enterprises.
Lawyer of the Year Award: an individual lawyer or team of lawyers who have provided exceptional pro bono support.
Legal Team of the Year Award: teams that demonstrate dedication and enthusiasm in supporting pro bono clients in three categories: domestic law firm, international law firm, and in-house legal team.
Every year at the TrustLaw Awards, we gather to celebrate the remarkable pro bono projects undertaken by legal teams with NGOs and social enterprises around the world. This year we will be celebrating on November 5th on our social media channels.Visit Site
Index of Pro Bono
The TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono is the first global survey measuring the amount of pro bono practised by law firms across the world.
By highlighting successful pro bono programmes and providing benchmarks on pro bono participation and related trends in different jurisdictions, the Index is an vital tool to help spread the practice of pro bono.
It offers all firms a unique resource to help build robust pro bono practices, and to understand how to get the greatest impact from their pro bono work.
The 2016 Index collected data from over 130 firms, representing 64,500 lawyers in 75 countries.
Our data shows lawyers donated 2.5 million hours of their time assisting charities, non-profits, social enterprises, and individuals free of charge. On average lawyers committed one week (39.2 hours) to pro bono.