Pro Bono Legal Service
Pro Bono Legal Service
Pro bono is a Latin phrase, the meaning of which is “for the good of the people.” It refers to legal services performed without cost or at reduced rates for the public good. It is a system wherein lawyers offer their poor and underprivileged clients with valuable legal advice and support without any professional fee. This article covers the provision in detail.
Whom Does it Serve?
Pro Bono services are meant to provide legal assistance to the marginalized communities and underserved populations, whose affordability is not on par with their requirements. A lawyer may accept such responsibilities either individually or through organizations that promote social causes.
The following laws help in fulfilling the objective of this system:
- The Constitution of India – mandates the State to render free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society for the purpose of promoting justice based on equal opportunity.
- Article 14 and 22(2) of the Constitution – ensures equality before the law.
- The United Nations Sustainable Development, Goal 16 – emphasizes the obligation of States ‘to ensure equal access to justice for all.’
Eligible Lawyers and Legal Professionals
Lawyers and Regional Professionals may register for the service if they have been enrolled with a bar council or has been practising as an advocate at the Bar. No age limit has been specified for creating a profile for pro bono, and those aged between 44-54 years of age will be given the option of providing additional information, which is to be considered for suitable positions.
Applicants who wish to be a part of this scheme must be registered with ServicePlus, which is a Government website that makes all Government services accessible to the common man through common service delivery outlets.
In the absence of a ServicePlus ID, the applicant may send across the application by filling and submitting the online registration form.
Corporate Pro Bono Efforts
Corporate pro bono efforts emphasize on enhancing the capacity of local nonprofits or mentoring local businesses. For this purpose, they may loan employees, impart coaching and mentoring, complete a service marathon, create standardized team projects, engage in open-ended outsourcing, perform general contracting, provide sector-wise solutions or work on a signature issue. Here’s a brief account on each of these models:
Companies may donate a fully trained and paid-for employee to a non-profit entity, and interested employees may apply for such an opportunity. The latter may use their workplace skills in a hands-on and/or consulting role to build the non-profit partner’s capacity.
Functional Coaching and Mentoring
Employees may join their peers in the non-profit segment to form a relationship and share functional expertise. Coaching and mentoring make way for a stronger market, as it strengthens the local economy and inculcates essential skills on the service providers and recipients.
Standardized Team Projects
Here, the individuals will be placed on teams with assigned roles and responsibilities. Each project is scoped and structured around a standard deliverable in accordance with the requirements of the nonprofit partners. Team projects include fun team-building activities or highly competitive events that examines leadership abilities in employees.
Companies may make their service available to certain non-profit organizations on an ongoing basis, based on requirements.
Companies may develop a deliverable pro bono resource, which can be applied to all non-profits across the sector. The model prompts for the creation of products that will be distributed freely or at a lesser cost. Most of these services pertain to software and technology.
Also Read About – Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)
Signature issue incorporates corporate assets with pro bono work in fighting social issues. Pro Bono volunteers arriving en masse from a company would be involved in this cause.