ARF mobilises and organizes connects indigent persons, NGOs in need of legal assistance with law firms who are willing to help. This way, ARF solicits for lawyers who willing to offer their services either freely or with a minimal facilitation from ARF.
If you are a lawyer and would like to volunteer your legal expertise, or a law firm that would like to grow its pro bono practice, please sign up for our list in order to receive available pro bono matters. All requests are subject to internal approval.
If you are an organization in need of legal assistance, send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with: a description of your organization; a short description of your organization’s legal need(s); and the deadline for the work that needs to be done.
ARF distributes information about resources and opportunities relating to public interest law around Uganda. Please send items for distribution to the moderator, Geofrey Turyamusiima at email@example.com
In order to inspire lawyers to advance the public interest and strengthen the ability of civil society to influence laws and policies and assist individuals in need, ARF develops pro bono (or volunteer) legal practice in Uganda. Although in recent years, lawyers and firms have become increasingly willing to undertake pro bono matters, they often lack a direct connection to the community. ARF’s pro bono clearinghouses in Kampala, Wakiso, Budaka, Mbale and Kiryandongo serve to bridge that gap between lawyers seeking opportunities to provide free legal help and those who need it.
ARF also helps replicate its model by providing technical assistance, know-how exchange and other forms of coordination to partner organisations under LASPNET. It also organizes the annual Uganda Pro Bono Forum to provide a dynamic, multi-national platform for exchange of information, skills transfer and networking related to pro bono activities in Uganda and beyond.
ARF’S Pro Bono Forum brings together lawyers and NGO representatives to explore how they can best collaborate to address the most critical issues of social justice. The Forum offers an unparalleled opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge of issues relating to Ugandan pro bono law. Through interactive workshops, engaging social events, and structured networking opportunities, seasoned practitioners and newcomers alike gain insight into the pro bono community and forge alliances that can help deliver justice and protect rights around Uganda. ARF provides free-of-charge matchmaking services to secure pro bono assistance for NGOs. If you are a lawyer and would like to volunteer your legal expertise, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and send us an email.
The law can only fulfill its potential to deliver justice and protect rights with the help of a passionate and dedicated cadre of advocates. That’s why one of ARFt’s primary goals is to inspire lawyers to advance the public interest and equip them with the necessary knowledge, capabilities and opportunities to do so.
ARF works with public interest advocates throughout their careers to achieve this goal. ARF begins by sparking interest among law students and working to enhance legal education to be more responsive to social needs and reflective of professional ethics. ARF’s programs combine academic and practical training with mentoring and exposure to innovative strategies in order to equip young lawyers with the tools necessary to make a profound impact on their local communities.
ARF also provides opportunities to work in the public interest to seasoned, private sector lawyers who provide pro bono legal services on a voluntary basis. Through its pro bono strategy, ARF leverages significant resources from law firms and in-house legal departments of major corporations to assist NGOs and to supplement and support the work of full-time public interest lawyers.
The poor and socially vulnerable can only protect their rights if they can access the judicial mechanisms that serve them. That’s why ARF works to make systems of justice more effective and accessible by reforming legal aid, by developing pro bono (or volunteer) legal practice in Uganda and by promoting other innovative approaches to meeting the legal needs of the public.
ARF works in collaboration with partner organizations to engage ministries of justice in legal aid reform efforts, to provide comparative expertise, and to support the development of legal aid interest groups and coalitions among NGOs, human rights lawyers, judges, and bar association leaders. ARF assists NGOs to develop legal aid programs and works with universities to establish and strengthen legal aid-providing clinical programs based at law schools.
ARF works to make systems of justice more effective, accessible and fair, in part by improving state-subsidized legal aid systems. In this effort, ARF collaborates with key stakeholders – national and local governments and bar associations – to design context-appropriate legal aid systems and allocate resources for the provision of legal aid and legal information. ARF also engages NGO partners in legal aid reform processes and fosters the complementarity of state, private sector and NGO efforts in this realm.
ARF relies on a diverse set of methodologies and participatory processes to gather, analyze and disseminate data to assess current deficiencies in access to justice, highlight problems and needs and inform priorities, including undertaking comparative research studies and convening workshops and conferences.
ARF believes that law schools play a critical role in producing socially responsible and public interest-oriented lawyers, who are, in turn, essential to the delivery of justice and the protection of human rights. ARF advances innovative and comprehensive curriculum development and excellence in teaching so that law schools more effectively promote ethical values, develop broad analytical and problem-solving skills and provide knowledge of the social effects of the law.
ARF also seeks to identify, inspire and assist reform-oriented leaders in legal education and to connect them to external constituencies within civil society and the private sector that support and benefit from improvements in legal education. To accelerate the process of reform, ARF utilizes studies, surveys, scholarly debate and stakeholder consultations to create a more active discourse about identifying and meeting educational needs both within legal academe and in the broader public sphere.
Building on the continued success of previous years’ legal ethics trainings for law students, ARF in collaboration with the Law Schools, holds annual “Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics in the International Legal Market” course. This is usually an intensive training which covers a range of topics including lawyer-client relationships, social responsibility, the role of pro bono, and confidentiality and conflict of interest issues. Additionally, the course covers legal ethics among Ugandan judges and defense lawyers with one of the sessions dedicated solely to legal ethics and human rights issues.
Practitioners with many years of experience in the legal field lead the course.
In order to participate in the program, students from across Ugandan law schools submit essays, in English, on the subject of legal ethics. As a result, the workshop brings together students. On one hand, this geographic diversity perhaps signals improvements in the quality of country’s law school. On the other, it demonstrates a growing interest in ethics among future Ugandan lawyers.
The scope of its outreach will further contribute to the popularization of legal ethics in our country and beyond, and the society at large will become more aware of the numerous challenges – and countless opportunities for growth, reform and innovation – that exist within the realm of legal ethics.” ARF and its partners are making every effort to make these wishes a reality.