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Pro Bono Day in Portugal for the first time


On 8 November, Pro Bono Day was held for the first time in Portugal. The event focused on good collaborative practices for Law Firms, Clearing Houses, Non-Profit Organisations and Law Students, as well as the creation of synergies between the stakeholders in the Pro Bono legal community in Portugal.

This initiative was part of European Pro Bono Week, which took place in such cities as Paris, Madrid, Milan, Frankfurt, and Brussels, this year.

The event was divided into three distinct sections, each of which covered the results of Pro Bono work. The first topic was International Experience, led by Fundación Pro Bono España. Representatives from the Centre for Digital Inclusion (CDI) and the Pro Bono Association and the heads of the Pro Bono areas at two Portuguese law firms then reported on the impact of Pro Bono legal work on Institutions and Individuals. Finally, Pro Bono Portugal, OIKOS and TrustLaw led the debate on Good Pro Bono Practices in Portugal. The sessions were wound up by Teresa Serra, head of Sérvulo’s Social Responsibility area.

The Pro Bono Alliance was presented at the end of the event. This alliance, joined by signing of a letter of commitment, reflects the concerns a number of companies and lawyers have regarding the extensive need for pro bono legal assistance in Portugal, to which the response is not always sufficient or adequate.

The challenge of forming the Pro Bono Alliance was taken up by the following individual practice lawyers and entities: Abreu, CCSL Lawyers, Cuatrecasas, FCB, Maria Pisani Burnay, MIRANDA, Morais Cardoso and Associates, Novartis (Legal Department), Nova Nuno Cerejeira Namora and Pedro Marinho Falcão e Associados, Pedro Maria Simão, PLMJ, SÉRVULO, SRS and VdA, all of whom are committed and fully aligned with best international Pro Bono practices.

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Teresa Serra