What is Lawyers Without Borders? 

An organization that is bringing lawyers together from around the world to give back through pro-bono service — supporting rule of law, economic development, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and sustainability in the legal sector throughout the world.

Do you represent individuals? 

 LWOB does not “represent” individuals. It is not a resource for individuals seeking personal pro bono representation.

What can volunteers for LWOB do? 

Volunteers assist via:

Research: Legal issues, Indicator Impact Frameworks, Roadmaps, Constitutional and transitional legal issues, Human Rights, Information analysis and report writing, Country Research.

Write: Reports, Newsletters, Concept Papers, White Papers, Lawyer Field Guides, Roadmaps and other legal analyses.

Represent LWOB at events and Conferences [Always self-funding]: Human Rights Conferences, United Nations Conferences/Sessions, Educational Programs, Training Programs, pro bono conferences.

Assess, Observe, Evaluate: Be part of an Assessment or Evaluation Team, Participate in trial observations, Effect a Rapid Response Intervention, COnduct a post-training evaluation, lead an LWOB In-Country Mission in a region to assist with program development, launch, implementation, and follow-up.

Neutral Observations: Attend and observe trials, conflict situations, and tribunal proceedings.

Trial Training: Join LWOB Trial and Mediation Training Teams assisting lawyers and judges with in large scale NITA style (“Learning by Doing Method”) Training Programs.

Mediation Training: Train lawyers, trainers, and individuals in conflict resolution and negotiation skills. Assist with development of materials and toolkits for mediators.

Operations: Ther are a variety of roles you can play in assisting with the administration of LWOB: Managing programs, overseeing volunteers or student divisions, fundraising, development, grant writing, website maintenance, graphic design, illustration/art, etc.

As a rule “volunteers” in-house at LWOB are expected to work at our headquarters at least 2-3 days per week or on an as-needed basis. There are opportunities for volunteering for LWOB from remote locations, depending upon the nature of the work.

Are you and Avocats sans Frontiers the same organization?

No. There is absolutely no connection between Avocats sans Frontieres (AsF) and Lawyers Without Border, Inc. LWOB operates in UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Palestinian Territories, and throughout Africa under the name: Lawyers Without Borders (Abogados Sin Fronteras in Spanish speaking nations) and is not affiliated with any AsF operations in those or any other area. There is a group operating as “Lawyers Without Borders Canada” — they are not affiliated with us (LWOB). We appreciate your reporting to us any instances of the use of our name in violation of our trademark.

Are you officially registered as an NGO in other regions?

Yes. “Lawyers Without Borders” is a registered trademark of this organization in the United Kingdom, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States office of Patent and Trade Marks. It has official NGO or charity status in UK and Kenya.

How old is LWOB?

Lawyers Without Borders was founded in January 2000.

Why haven’t I heard more about LWOB in the media?

Two reasons:

  1. Our focus and strength has always been in programming rather than media and marketing. Many of the lawyers working with LWOB have been schooled in the more traditional approach to law, which shunned advertising and self-promotion. That philosophy permeates our operational model.
  2. A list of the countries where LWOB has engaged should be evidence enough that we must, while working hard to attract capable and committed volunteers, be mindful of security and safety issues for the volunteering lawyers. There are times when the less said about where the lawyers are and what they are doing serves the interests of their security and safety and is in the best interests of ensuring that project objectives are achieved.

If I have contacts in a region or am aware of a group or program that I think LWOB can help how do I go about pursuing my idea with LWOB?

Often LWOB’s projects originate through lawyers and individuals who have traveled or otherwise have become aware of a group, region, area or problem that they bring to our attention. While it is helpful if you can also bring a funding source to your project, failure of funding should not dissuade you from contacting us. With each year LWOB becomes more adept at finding funding for worthwhile projects that further our goal to put lawyers to work, pro bono, to make a difference. LWOB’s Executive Director and Founder is very accessible and would be pelased to discuss your project ideas with you.

Are you connected with Medicins sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders)?

No. LWOB is not affiliated in any way with Medecins sans Frontieres or Doctors Without Borders, which is a registered trademark of Bureau of Medecins sans Frontieres. They are doctors. We are lawyers, each hoping to help mankind using different skill professional sets.

Is there an important question we haven’t answered?

Please ask it. You may direct your inquiries to: info@lwob.org