Submissions open for the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono 2016

13 April, 2016


Submissions are open for the 3rd edition of the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono, the world’s leading global pro bono survey.


With the rapid spread of pro bono beyond traditional strongholds such as the US, Australia, South Africa and the UK, there is growing demand for an international platform that maps trends in pro bono and tracks the level of pro bono engagement across the globe.

“Pro Bono data matters”, says Serena Grant, Director of TrustLaw, Thomson Reuters Foundation.  “This is the feedback we have received from firms large and small – whether used by a pro bono coordinator to advocate for better resources, or a firm setting up its pro bono practice and wanting benchmarks on how their counterparts have structured their practices.”


The Thomson Reuters Foundation launched the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono in 2014 to provide analysis on the key national, regional and global trends shaping the pro bono marketplace, and to assess the pro bono participation of law firms on a country by country basis.


“Acclaimed pro bono surveys have long collected data on a national basis in markets such as England and Wales, the US, Australia and even in parts of Latin America. Yet, there was not a comprehensive report mapping trends and measuring pro bono engagement on a global basis until we created the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono”, adds Nicholas Glicher, Legal Director, Thomson Reuters Foundation.


Its unique global reach allows the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono to unearth relevant, yet previously unexplored trends in pro bono markets from Cambodia to Germany to Colombia, highlighting successful programmes as well as identifying gaps in pro bono participation. “Since different cultures and jurisdictions hold diverse attitudes to pro bono, we created a definition of pro bono that allows for consistent submissions globally, and that enables comparison across the findings”, explains Glicher.


The TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono also recognises the role of local law firms in advancing pro bono, especially in jurisdictions such as India, which restrict the operation of foreign law firms. The findings challenge the conventional notion that international law firms are better resourced to commit to pro bono practices. Rather, the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono is a platform where firms of all shapes and sizes can share their experience and expertise.


The 2015 findings unveil an incredible enthusiasm for pro bono with 2 million hours of free legal support provided by the 140 respondent firms across 76 countries, and an average of 43 hours of free legal assistance invested annually by individual lawyers.


This year, the Thomson Reuters Foundation will collect pro bono data from more jurisdictions and law firms to build a broader picture of the global pro bono landscape. Law firms are invited to submit their pro bono data through an online survey before 23 May 2016.


“More and more around the world, barriers to pro bono are falling, participation is up, and lawyers are excited to make a difference in their jurisdictions and beyond.  This sea change is happening in no small part thanks to the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono. It is an aspirational tool for us to gauge how we’re doing, and inspires us to do more”, commented Louis O’Neill, Pro Bono Counsel, White & Case LLP, in anticipation of the 2016 TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono.


Findings of the 2016 TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono will be launched on 18 July 2016.



See the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono submission guidance and the survey questions with detailed explanatory notes.
To find out more, check out the 2014 and 2015 TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono findings.
To arrange an interview with Serena Grant, Director of TrustLaw, or Nicholas Glicher, Legal Director at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, please contact Trang Chu Minh ([email protected] / +44 207 542 9634)

This post was submitted for publication on by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.