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How to Access TrustLaw Pro Bono Legal Service

Need pro bono legal help? GSBI can help! You as GSBI alumni have fast tracked access to TrustLaw the Global pro bono service. 

From TrustLaw:

TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service that connects social enterprises and NGOs with the best law firms across the world. TrustLaw exists to help social impact organizations focus on their mission instead of spending resources on legal expertise. Since the launch of TrustLaw in 2010, over 1,100 teams of lawyers have already assisted organisations like your own completely free of charge.

GSBI is a referral partner of TrustLaw, which means that GSBI entrepreneurs can receive fast track to the service.

Examples of past projects:

Protecting intellectual property matters and trademark
o Award winning social enterprise Friends International worked with law firms Tilleke Gibbins International, LGP Asia, Leks and Co, and Clayton Utz to have their intellectual property protected in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Australia respectively, after becoming aware of attempts to copy some of their projects.

Registering your organisation and/or deciding which legal structure to adopt
o BoP Connect is a social enterprise in India developing mobile and online applications to help disadvantaged communities. The company worked with lawyers to register their headquarters in the UK, and received structuring and tax advice taking into account their international expansion plans, mission and future fundraising plans.

Drafting or reviewing partnership agreements, contracts, templates, etc.
o Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor Enterprises is a Kenyan social enterprise that provides WASH services to the urban poor through public-private partnerships. TrustLaw connected SmartLife, a subsidiary of WSUP Enterprises, to a lawyer who drafted a service level agreement they used with an IT start-up that created their Client Relationship Management platform.

Employment/HR issues or contract negotiations with staff, volunteers, customers, or partners
o Bal Utsav is a non-profit that provides learning opportunities for children, parents, teachers, practitioners, researchers and organizations working with children and youths in India. Luthra & Luthra drafted a template employment contract for permanent staff members. They also drafted a letter that Bal Utsav could send to new advisory board members that sets out their responsibilities and obligations.

Legal research comparing legislation across multiple countries to be used in reports, advocacy, etc.
o A team of global law firms conducted comparative research in 8 jurisdictions on compensation for the mental suffering of rape victims and rape and prostitution laws relating to minors. The research was conducted for Beijing Zhongze Women’s Legal Counseling and Service Center, which used the research to prepare a proposal highlighting key issues that they submitted to the 2013 National People’s Congress annual conference with the hope of reforming the law, strengthening protections for women and girls, and improving access to compensation for rape victims.

How to apply

To access this pro bono support, apply to join the network: http://apply.trust.org. To learn more about TrustLaw, check out our introduction video here: http://vimeo.com/99259454

Be sure to indicate in your application that you are affiliated with GSBI.


To learn more, please visit trustlaw.trust.org or contact Afton Branche at TrustLaw directly at afton.branche@thomsonreuters.com for any questions. 

Edited Tue, Sep 23, 2014 10:47 AM

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