Since I joined TrustLaw in 2011, our network has grown dramatically. We’ve gone from strength to strength: spreading the practice of pro bono in 175 countries, encouraging collaboration between legal professionals and empowering NGOs and social enterprises to achieve greater impact.
In eight short years, our network of top law firms, in-house legal teams from some of the best-known brands on the planet, high-impact NGOs and innovative social enterprises has grown to over 5,000 members. We have connected 4,800 legal teams to our social sector members - helping NGOs and social enterprises around the world identify and articulate their needs and receive world-class legal support and research.
My fundamental belief is that lawyers are a powerful agent for change and legal support plays an essential role in every long-term, sustainable solution. At TrustLaw, we have built a service that ensures the advice received by our members is tailored to their needs and helps ensure the sectors they work in are robust and more vital. Further, through us our members can take advantage of the highest quality legal advice wherever they are based as they change laws, strengthen the livelihoods and communities of their target populations and change society for the better.
While it is difficult to capture the impact of TrustLaw,what we track is the value of the pro bono work provided – a figure standing at USD134m at present. That represents USD134m that has been able to be spent on achieving mission rather than on core operations; USD134m spent on marginalised and under-privileged communities or protecting the environment that would otherwise not have done.
We have seen how critical legal assistance has led to a ripple effect in communities. Through our connections, we’ve:
- helped to end child marriage in two states in the United States,
- set up the first safe house for LGBT refugees in the UK
- and fought cybersex crimes and child porn in India.
As TrustLaw continues to grow, we are well-placed to raise our impact even further in the years ahead, whether through increased use of technology or through more innovative ways of sourcing and delivering pro bono. We have a proven strength as a convener and our ability to bring together key organisations (non-profit, legal, academic or otherwise) means we can produce ground-breaking tools and resources that affect whole sectors and have a catalytic impact on vulnerable communities and populations around the world. The growth in our network can only amplify our impact all the more. There is an awful lot to look forward to. I, for one, cannot wait to see what the future holds.