In the News...

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NEWS: The Development of Institutionalized Pro Bono in Latin America

Latin Lawyer published an editorial on the development of institutionalized pro bono in Latin America authored by Vance Center Co-Chairs Todd Crider (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett) and Antonia Stolper (Shearman & Sterling), and Vance Center Senior Program Director Elise Colomer. Read the article here.


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Survey Regarding Women Lawyers in Latin America

It is well documented that women lawyers are significantly under-represented in the legal profession in Latin America, both in law firms and in corporate legal departments.

In an effort to determine the reasons for this under-representation, the Vance Center and Latin Lawyer are undertaking a survey of lawyers and law firms in the region. The survey will seek to identify issues that are preventing women lawyers from advancing in the legal profession in Latin America. The survey will look at challenges such as business development, networking, and mentoring and will try to identify “best practices” to address some of the barriers. To develop the survey, analyze its results, and recommend best practices, the Vance Center and Latin Lawyer will convene focus groups and meetings with pioneering women attorneys, leading firms, and professional organizations in the U.S. and Latin America. We anticipate that this project will provide law firms and corporate legal departments with the tools they need to improve women’s advancement in the profession. To read the full document, click here.


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Tracking the Implementation of the PBDA

The Vance Center and Latin Lawyer have partnered to conduct a survey on the implementation of the Pro Bono Declaration for the Americas (PBDA). Five years after its launch in Mexico City in January 2008, the PBDA has become the cornerstone document for lawyers and law firms in Latin America that engage in pro bono activities that benefit the disadvantaged and marginalized. Adhered to by more than 500 law firms throughout the Western hemisphere, the Declaration commits signatories to a minimum average of 20 hours of pro bono work per lawyer per year. This translates into a bank of over 600,000 hours that lawyers have pledged to rendering their expertise and services free of charge to those most in need in their countries and across borders.

The partnership between the Vance Center and Latin Lawyer marks a milestone in tracking the impact of PBDA in Latin America. The Vance Center and Latin Lawyer will develop a survey to be distributed to law firms throughout the region that will be invited to share information on their progress in implementing pro bono within their firms. It will provide signatories with the opportunity to voluntarily disclose statistics on their pro bono work, such as total hours rendered per year, percentage of partners and associates involved in pro bono work, number and types of projects undertaken, sources of work, and levels of financial contribution to local referral organizations. To read the full document, click here.


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ProBonoRD Launches Partnership with Dominican Bar Association

The pro bono organization in the Dominican Republic, Fundacion ProBonoRD, launched a partnership with the Dominican Republic Bar Association, Colegio de Abogados de la Republica Dominicana, to stregthen its National Pro Bono Network and deliver pro bono services to the poor and marginalized. To read more about this partnership, click here.


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On Freedom of Expression

Michael O'Flaherty, incoming President of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and chief drafter of the Committee's 2011 ground-breaking General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the Covenant, spoke at a March 13th event on "International Law on Freedom of Expression and Information: Breakthroughs at the U.N. and Other Significant Developments." The event was co-sponsored by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, the City Bar’s International Human Rights and United Nations Committees, and the Open Society Justice Initiative.


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