Celebrating European Pro Bono Week 2024 | Fieldfisher
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Celebrating European Pro Bono Week 2024



United Kingdom

Pro bono is an integral part of Fieldfisher's Sustainability and ESG approach to delivering societal and environmental impact. To mark European Pro Bono Week 2024, our pro bono champions across the Fieldfisher network gave us an insight into why they do pro bono work.

Why is pro bono important?

A just and equitable society requires fair access to justice. Yet many people are not able to exercise that right. Aisling Ray, Associate in Dublin, highlights that "there are many barriers that people face in accessing justice and legal services. These barriers can include things like economic, social and geographical factors," such as "discrimination based on gender or race, limited access to legal resources in certain areas, as well as complex legal processes, which may be challenging for people to navigate."

Aisling leads a project that secures independent immigration status for survivors of domestic violence in Ireland. With no public recourse in this area, the project "assists people where they otherwise may not have been able to access legal services and justice." Aisling and other trained lawyers in our Dublin office ensure that survivors of domestic violence can reclaim their lives and independence.

Strengthening civil society through pro bono

Access to justice cannot be achieved without the crucial role and support of civil society organisations. Fieldfisher also provides pro bono support for organisations to strengthen and maximise their resources to achieve their missions.

Gabriela Misic, Counsel in Vienna, has been advising a charity collaboration agreement between two entities in the UK and Austria to offer teaching services and support for teachers in Greece. She commented on the unique roles of lawyers to use their legal knowledge and skills to "support charities, which in turn help other people…extending our impact and indirectly help[ing] even more people."

Intersecting impact, expertise, and interests

Pro bono is also an opportunity for lawyers to utilise their legal skills for causes that matter to them. Nayelly Landeros, Associate in Brussels, said "I have a particular interest in climate justice, and I think it's great to use one's skills to make meaningful change and to support the enforcement of children's rights." Pro bono has a key role in ensuring legal mechanisms are robust for even the youngest members of society who seek to uphold their rights and interests. Nayelly is a part of a multi-office research project for Children's Rights International Network (CRIN) to examine young people's environmental rights in Europe.

Pro bono highlights

Dîlan Balhan, ESG Executive in Hamburg, collated a comprehensive analysis of the legal landscape and rights of victims of violence and criminal offences in Germany. Her pro bono highlight was "working with different colleagues from different offices at Fieldfisher and realising that, together, we can pull knowledge, and directly support people in need or charities who need our knowledge – regardless of funding or financial issues."

Alexander Heitzinger, Counsel in Vienna, commented that "getting involved in pro bono work allows us all to make a significant difference in our community while gaining new skills and professional growth." From ensuring access to justice for individuals to supporting cross-jurisdictional research projects, our people have leveraged their time and skills to support the legal needs of civil society.

You can find out more about Fieldfisher's award-winning pro bono programme here.