Shaping the Future of Pro Bono
New Perimeter partnered with Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) Law School, Instituto Pro Bono and Public Interest Law Network (PILnet) to deliver a week-long course on pro bono in São Paulo, Brazil entitled, “Doing Pro Bono in Brazil: practices, incentives and perspectives.” The aim of the course was to strengthen the country's pro bono community for “the next generation of lawyers” in the wake of a move to relax bar association restrictions on providing free legal services to individuals. The course raised the possibilities, incentives and ethical issues involved in pro bono practices and discussed the various pro bono models and practices around the world. Intended to promote a discussion on the perspectives of public interest law practice in Brazil, approximately 30 law students, graduate students and practicing lawyers at law firms and in-house departments were selected to participate in the course.
This pilot course was also an opportunity to gather law undergraduates and graduates with a cross section of the Brazilian legal profession to contribute to the debate on access to justice and legal practice in Brazil. Local law firms, in-house counsel at Ford Motor Co. and Pfizer, nongovernmental organizations, a representative from the Office of the Public Defender and international pro bono professionals participated in the course. The participants offered their perspectives on the importance of doing pro bono work, as well as their ideas around the regulation of pro bono in Brazil. At the end of the week, the project partners hosted an open forum for members of the community to learn more about pro bono work and discuss the future of pro bono in Brazil.