LWOB programming is expanding steadily. Its partnerships are strong and the value and impact of the LWOB collaborative model using the cost-share component with the world’s largest law firms cannot be overestimated.
Some of the areas where LWOB projects are ongoing or in development include the following regions: Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Belize, Jamaica, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Nepal, and Indonesia.
Our work typically falls into the following categories: Trial Advocacy Training, Mediation Training, Neutral Trial Observation, Community Outreach, Civic Education and Research, Technical Assistance, Policy Guidance and Justice Sector (Judges, Prosecutors, Public Defenders) Capacity Building Support.
Themes of our work include: Gender-based and domestic violence, Corruption, Human trafficking, Terrorism, Wildlife Crime, Economic empowerment to drive access to justice and sustainable programming, Electoral violence, Civic and electoral rights, Conflict mitigation, Mediation, negotiation and consensus building, Rights of the child (labor), Succession and inheritance rights, Tax Compliance and Land title.
Our outputs or deliverables usually involve substantial pro bono collaboration and have included: 3- 10 day Trial Advocacy Training modules for Judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, trainers and lawyers, Justice Sector Symposia, Legislative workshops, Roadmaps, Illustrated civic education materials, Training manuals, Digitized educational visuals, Self-contained or Self-taught eLearning Programs, Awareness materials and public service campaigns, Educational games, Assessment and evaluation reports, Monitoring reports, Case Digests and analysis, Bench Books, law enforcement toolkits and Trial observation reports.
Course and published materials are first created in English and subsequently translated into one or more local languages. In the past translations have included some of the following: Swahili, Amharic, Creole, Nepali, French, and Spanish. Lawyers working on these projects come from all disciplines, a diverse array of practice sectors and from law firms, public interest organizations, universities and the private practice.
Unlike many other organizations working with pro bono components, the LWOB model is not a linking, matching agency or clearinghouse. LWOB designs and manages project collaboratives working side-by-side with lawyers and law firms. Law firm collaborations launch with detailed Task Descriptions or Terms of Reference). LWOB’s own in-house lawyers, provide personal program oversight and management from start to finish. Our in-house teams stand at the ready to complete any task that our law firm partners, for any reason, may not be able to complete or deliver on time. The tasking of work for pro bono lawyers is tailored to ensure that the demands of their practice do not compromise their pro bono work and vice versa. LWOB has determined that the key is to integrate and configure the pro bono elements in a way that will not risk program delivery or program quality. This ensures program stability and addresses any concerns some may have about programs that utilize substantial pro bono cost-share components.
Ultimately, LWOB designs its projects with mechanisms to ensure it can deliver the product completely and on time. LWOB selects its partners carefully, ensuring that they are all mindful of the seriousness of the LWOB commitments to project funders, project budgets, deliverables, and timetables. LWOB collaborative partners treat LWOB and its projects with the same level of attention and commitment that they apply to their fee-paying clients.
LWOB develops the programming typically supported by grants that cover the hard costs of producing the pro bono work product or deliverable. We commit to our pro bono partners that their work “will never end up in a file drawer.” Where 3rd party financial underwriting is not available, LWOB will often tap into an array of in-kind supporters to self-fund and implement worthwhile programs. The ongoing Liberia Digest Project (now 10 years old) is one such project that launched with 3rd party funding in 2008, but continues now with generous pro bono and in-kind support from Linklaters and Thomson Reuters.
While our work is apolitical and neutrally oriented, security issues that have arisen around the world prevent us from disclosing the location and timetables of our work in real time. We hope you will appreciate that our effort to keep our volunteers safe and out of harm’s way is paramount and essential to the long-term sustainability of our pro bono model.