The Pro Bono Referral Scheme is open to social justice organisations that work for the benefit of marginalised and disadvantaged people in Ireland. That means organisations that have a campaigning, law reform or advocacy arm that may benefit from more effective use or understanding of the law.
NGO partners can receive help on any legal need for which they do not have resources or in-house expertise. Our one exception is that we do not assist with internal organisational conflicts.
PILA works closely with organisations to develop ways in which the law can be used further in their work. Once a particular legal need has been identified, we invest time in understanding the specific legal question to be answered before referring the matter to a pro bono barrister, solicitor or law firm with suitable skills.
The organisation then takes the matter forward as part of a normal client-solicitor relationship, although PILA may stay involved at the request of the organisation. An ongoing relationship is not created with the legal professional. For further legal assistance, the organisation can submit a fresh request to PILA.
All legal assistance provided through PILA is given the same priority by lawyers as paid work and is completed to the same high standards. This includes ensuring that lawyers are competent to take on the matter, fully observe client confidentiality and all other rules of professional ethics. Legal partners agree to complete the work to an agreed deadline and to the NGO’s satisfaction.