This guidance note highlights lessons learnt about effective use of legal pro bono assistance by the Department for International Development’s Legal Assistance for Economic Reform programme (LASER).
Given the obvious value for money benefits of harnessing pro bono assistance, it has long been an area of interest for donors. Development programmes carried out by DFID and other donors recognise that opportunities exist to strategically tap into the goodwill of an extensive international legal pro bono offer. This is not just in commercial law and justice work but across a range of reform processes including in relation to social sectors, energy and climate change, security and justice reform, trade and regional integration, governance reform and regulatory and policy frameworks. However, evidence of impact is limited and there are significant gaps in knowledge and measurement tools.
LASER was asked to test the assumption that pro bono international legal advice can make a significant contribution to reform processes in developing countries. This guidance note presents lessons from different models of pro bono legal assistance that LASER has piloted, drawing out practical lessons from interventions in Sierra Leone, Burma, Uganda, Rwanda and Somaliland.
Legal Assistance for Economic Reforms. Learning lessons from Legal Assistance for Economic Reforms (LASER) use of pro bono legal expertise (2016) 9p