Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation News

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Welcomes New Managing Director

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is pleased to welcome Isis Bous as its new Managing Director. She comes to the Foundation with over a decade of experience at law firms and in-house, as well as with her own enterprise and mentoring social entrepreneurs. You can read more about Ms. Bous’ experience, here.

The Foundation staff recently attended the Lex Mundi North America Regional Conference in Houston which offered a great opportunity to highlight the Foundation’s impact – serving more than 600 social entrepreneur clients with the help of 95 Lex Mundi member law firms – and to hear from an inspiring social entrepreneur, Rafael Alvarez, who talked about how his organization, Genesys Works, has grown rapidly with the help of pro bono legal assistance.

A special thanks to host firm, Baker Botts, for inviting us to their office to meet the firm’s Pro Bono Committee to discuss our mission and hear about their impressive pro bono efforts.

Member Firm Profile: Womble Bond Dickinson Demonstrates a Strong Commitment to Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Clients

The Foundation has always counted Lex Mundi member firm Womble Bond Dickinson as one of our greatest supporters. 2017 proved to be no exception with the firm enthusiastically supporting 10 social entrepreneurs! While Womble is the Lex Mundi member firm for USA, North Carolina, the firm has been matched with social entrepreneurs with operations in several U.S. states as well as three countries across the world.

Womble’s impressive commitment to providing high quality pro bono assistance to help social enterprises scale their impact demonstrates how one law firm can use its time and expertise to truly have both a local and global impact. In the past year alone, Womble’s pro bono work for Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation clients has included unique legal projects ranging from advising on early-stage entity formation questions for National Geographic photographer, Reza Deghati, who started an organization to teach photography to refugee children, to reviewing and restructuring the governance of a Guatemala-based social entrepreneurship accelerator.

In many cases, these pro bono matches have led to continued relationships and ongoing legal support. Additionally, the firm has assisted the Foundation itself as part of our board leadership and through production of legal guidance documents that we share with our clients to help them be better educated on a number of legal issues.

“The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, and the social entrepreneur clients it serves, do impactful, life-changing work for some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens, and we at Womble Bond Dickinson are proud to support those efforts,” said Mark Desgrosseilliers, Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. “Our firm has enjoyed a close bond with the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation for years and we’re always prepared to lend a hand whenever the Foundation needs us.”

“Womble has been an incredible source of support to our social entrepreneur clients this past year,” said Andrew Morgan, Legal Program Director at the Foundation. “Mark and his colleagues throughout the firm never cease to impress me with their commitment to our matters as well as pro bono efforts more generally.”

Member Firm Profile: Bowmans Provides Local Insight and Ongoing Pro Bono Legal Support in East Africa

Bowmans, the Lex Mundi member firm for South Africa, is an instrumental partner in East Africa for the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and its clients. In the last six months of 2017 alone, Bowmans has provided pro bono assistance to five separate social enterprises operating in two countries to help them scale their impact in the region. Bowmans’ pro bono work for Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation clients has included:

  • Echo Mobile (Kenya) – Reviewing founding governance documents for social enterprise in Kenya that uses cutting edge mobile technology to measure impact.
  • Komaza (Kenya) – Advising innovative forestry initiative in Kenya on culturally appropriate contacts with small-holder farmers in rural Kenya.
  • Landesa (Tanzania) – Providing consultation on local employment laws related to hiring local professionals for U.S. land-rights NGO.
  • Trees for the Future (Tanzania) – Assisting with an employment matter for the Tanzania office of a U.S. NGO working on revitalization of degraded farming land.
  • Peacemaker Corps (Kenya) – Contract review for a partnership with a Kenyan University to set up a film studio to train and mentor students.

These pro bono legal matters have led to longstanding and successful working relationships and clearly demonstrate the ways in which effective legal support can facilitate social change. Fatima Laher, the Pro Bono Manager for Bowmans, has spearheaded the firm’s commitment to these clients with varying substantive legal issue areas as well as impact models.

When asked about the firm’s strong commitment to pro bono work and work with the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, Laher says, “Bowmans is a Pan-African law firm so the continent is our home. We are fully committed to servicing the communities within with which we operate on a pro bono basis. We enjoy a successful collaboration with the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and look forward to continuing our work with the Foundation”.

The Foundation greatly appreciates Bowmans’ generous support of our clients in sub-Saharan Africa. The firm is playing an integral role in ensuring the success of many high-impact enterprises in the region.

NEWS

Fighting Climate Change with Circular Economy Innovations

News On Purpose – August 2021

According to a new report issued by the United Nations on August 9, 2021, our planet is warming faster than predicted. Extreme weather, fires, flooding and drought are becoming common headlines around the world.

NEWS

2020 Year in Review

News On Purpose – May 2021

In the face of uncertain times, Lex Mundi member firms rallied together to give back to their communities. In 2020 alone, 74 member firms matched with 99 social entrepreneurs on 202 matters. This is a record high for the Foundation! These numbers are a testament to Lex Mundi attorneys’ commitment to pro bono services.

NEWS

Government Support for Social Enterprises Critical Amid a Pandemic Economy

As COVID-19 continues to ravage some countries, others seem to be turning a corner. Governments around the world are being tested, and whether a country is still fighting to contain outbreaks or has found a path toward easing restrictions, without active measures to ensure businesses survive and thrive post-pandemic, economies will continue to suffer.

NEWS

Ensuring survival of social impact organizations during covid-19

The economic fallout of COVID-19 is upon us and coverage of its reach is prevalent. Stories of businesses closing their doors permanently due to the crisis proliferate the media. From government responses and record unemployment rates to fluctuating markets and threats to commerce, there is no sector left untouched by the global pandemic.

NEWS

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and World Economic Forum Alliance Help Social Entrepreneurs Overcome Impacts of COVID-19

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is among the founding members of a newly formed alliance of more than 40 global organizations amplifying support of social entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations that comprise alliance collectively support more than 15,000 social entrepreneurs in more than 190 countries. The alliance estimates that their work impacts upwards of 1.5 billion people.

NEWS

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Supports Impact Organizations Working to Advance Equitable Solutions to Address Systemic Racism

During this time of profound grief, unrest, and reflection over the mistreatment, abuse, and murder of countless Black Americans in the United States, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is proud to support our social impact collaborators and clients working to address systemic racism and advance a more equitable future.