TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme. We connect the best law firms and corporate legal teams around the world with high-impact NGOs and social enterprises working to create social and environmental change. We produce groundbreaking legal research, and offer innovative training courses worldwide.
Each week, lawyers will receive an email listing pro bono projects available across the global network. Lawyers can submit an offer of interest for a project, and the NGO or social enterprise client will choose which legal team to work with. Selecting projects to support is entirely at the discretion of the lawyer.
Post a request for free legal assistance on TrustLaw’s online portal and then speak with TrustLaw about your legal needs. Once finalised, TrustLaw legal members will be able to see your legal request.
Lawyers in the network will have two weeks to volunteer to help. Then TrustLaw will send the offers of support to the NGO or social enterprise to select which legal team they would like to work with. If TrustLaw hasn’t found help by the end of the two-week period, we'll keep looking until we’ve found free legal assistance.
We have partnerships with grant-making organisations like The Stars Foundation, social enterprise support organisations such as Ashoka or UnLtd, and environmental groups such as the Whitely Fund for Nature. Referral partners share the same eligibility criteria as TrustLaw for supporting NGO and social enterprises. 2014 partners include:
The number of NGOs and social enterprises who are members of TrustLaw grows by the day. With a presence in over 170 countries globally, we support more than 2,000 organisations with free legal assistance.
An NGO is a non-government organisation that works to support social change. NGOs usually rely on donations to alleviate poverty, empower communities, support disadvantaged groups, advocate for rights, promote the arts or protect the environment. They can be small, working within their own community or can operate globally, they are autonomous from the government and are not-for-profit. Meet some of TrustLaw’s NGO members.
A social enterprise is a business that works towards tackling social problems. They are often commercial, which means they make a profit and sell goods to the public, however their ultimate goal is to reach their social or environmental mission. For example Thankyou is a TrustLaw social enterprise member in Australia, they sell bottled water and delicious muesli and donate all their profits to alleviate poverty. Another TrustLaw member is Nuru Energy who has introduced rechargeable lamps to villages in Rwanda, Kenya and India to prevent use of non-renewable energy sources.
TrustLaw publications are legal resources that take an in-depth look at a legal issue in a number of countries. This may be in the form of a comparative analysis of laws in different countries, or a legal landscape analysis. These guides aim to help TrustLaw members advocate for legal reform, inform policy activities or propose legal amendments.
TrustLaw has produced a number of guides in collaboration with leading law firms to support the growth of social entrepreneurship, and to help NGOs and charities across the world. These guides are a vital tool for many organisations, and demonstrate the commitment TrustLaw legal members have for strengthening the social sector.