Frequently Asked Questions


How does The Global Pro Bono Bar ensure quality of volunteer work products?

The critical challenge facing volunteer legal services organizations is ensuring quality in volunteer service and resultant work products.  The Global Pro Bono Bar employs a redundant system of team assignment as one tool to address such concerns.  In the event that a volunteer from a given team fails to perform assigned tasks satisfactorily, members from the redundant team may serve as ready alternative volunteers to carry the work forward.  The Global Pro Bono Bar is also developing a system of social media-based volunteer evaluation in the form of a consolidated rating for each volunteer based on past evaluations from supervising team members, Local Advocate Partners, and peers as appropriate.  Future volunteer opportunities will be made available on the basis of these individual ratings as an incentive to reward consistency and quality.


How does The Global Pro Bono Bar engage with local advocates?

The Global Pro Bono Bar focuses its resources in support of local advocates on the ground, where greater public interest legal capacity is needed most.  While coordination may sometimes be difficult in situations in which the advocacy work of such local advocates may be unwelcome in their home jurisdictions, The Global Pro Bono Bar is about long-term expansion of the capacity necessary to overcome such deep-seated challenges.  Only time and hard work will improve many of today's challenges, but The Global Pro Bono Bar is working to set the conditions for such local advocates to be successful while keeping them in control of the flow of legal research and support services from The Global Pro Bono Bar Network to bolster their local advocacy efforts.

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Does The Global Pro Bono Bar engage in the unauthorized practice of law?

No.  In order to practice law in a given jurisdiction, one must comply with local jurisdictional requirements (e.g., being a member of the local bar, etc.).  As such, The Global Pro Bono Bar reviews specific requests for support in a given jurisdiction to identify necessary requirements and to make arrangements for project support accordingly.  The Global Pro Bono Bar’s targeted legal scholarship projects are unlikely to involve the practice of law in any relevant jurisdiction per se (and any Global Pro Bono Bar scholarly work product will state clearly that it is not offered as legal advice).  Additionally, The Global Pro Bono Bar works to ensure that all legal support services comply with relevant rules regarding the local practice of law.  Importantly, as Local Advocate Partners are likely to be local law practitioners in most cases, any support relationship in The Global Pro Bono Bar Network may have certain parallels to the relationship between a local law firm and international law firm or paid legal support service (e.g., as with paid litigation service support providers).  To the extent that such working relationships are allowed and do not violate applicable rules on the local practice of law (which is almost certainly the case for the vast majority of jurisdictions), The Global Pro Bono Bar anticipates no issues with compliance under such rules.


How do Global Pro Bono Bar volunteers navigate conflicts?

If a given project were to involve the practice of law, applicable rules of professional conduct would likely require that only individuals who have no ethical or other conflict with acting in relation to that project do so.  Global Pro Bono Bar members would only be assigned to a given advocacy cluster in such cases after either (1) a thorough review confirms that no potential conflicts exist; or (2) informed consent has been obtained where appropriate to remove any conflict.  Given the virtual nature of The Global Pro Bono Bar Cluster Architecture, each cluster works on its assigned project independently of the others, with project information to be kept confidential as required.  In the event concerns relating to potential conflicts arise under applicable rules of professional conduct, such potential conflicts will be resolved on a case-by-case basis as appropriate in the circumstances.


How does The Global Pro Bono Bar ensure data security and preservation of legal privilege?

Data security and preservation of legal privilege in appropriate circumstances are critical concerns for the smooth functioning of The Global Pro Bono Bar Operating Model.  While few support requests may require confidential treatment to avoid improper disclosure of data or the potential loss of legal privilege, confidentiality may be critical in such cases.  The Global Pro Bono Bar utilizes data security solutions developed for virtual law firm case management in accordance with applicable law to address this concern.


Does The Global Pro Bono Bar provide support with obtaining licenses to practice law and legal malpractice insurance?

Not at this time.  Developing such coverage as a benefit of membership in The Global Pro Bono Bar is a priority for the future.


What is The Global Pro Bono Bar's Communication and Collaboration Strategy?

The Global Pro Bono Bar generally utilizes its online presence and word-of-mouth advertising to develop membership enrollment and volunteer engagement.  We are also proud to have adopted an open collaboration policy with other organizations, recognizing that our efforts are only strengthened by working with others toward achieving similar goals in the public interest.  Ultimately, The Global Pro Bono Bar’s innovative approach leverages the networking potential of globalization to create value in collaboration for all involved, placing a global legal support network in the palm of the Local Advocate Partner’s hand.

If your question has not been answered above, please do contact us.  Otherwise, we hope you will consider taking action to help with the important work of The Global Pro Bono Bar, either by making a contribution or becoming a member.