Trustlaw is the program of the Thomson Reuters Foundation through which it provides pro bono legal assistance to NGOs and social enterprises through its legal network, comprised of law firms and in-house legal teams from 180 countries so that the assisted organizations can address legal issues related to their daily operations and undertake research projects that can be useful to fulfill their social mission and be used as a tool for advocacy.
This is a unique opportunity for social entrepreneurs who are seeking legal advice for their ventures. TrustLaw can help you better understand your situation and options, and potentially connect you with a specialized attorney or legal firm in your country, for free.
What services does TrustLaw provide?
- Get assistance on legal issues related to your daily operations, such as the use of images on the Internet, trademark registration, employment agreements, compliance with data protection regulations, tax exemptions, collaboration agreements, legal structures, etc.
- Get assistance with research on legal topics in one or more countries to identify best practices. Some examples include research on legal structures available for social enterprises; social impact bonds; tax benefits for donors; climate change and environmental protection; etc.
Please, make sure you meet all these criteria before applying!
- You must be legally incorporated
- You must operate as a non-profit or as a social enterprise (namely more than 50% of your profits need to be reinvested into delivering more impact)
- Your organization must have been operating for at least one year
- The issue you want advice on concerns your venture (not the founders/team)
- The issue you need advice on is of transactional nature. It cannot include litigations or lawsuits
The applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. This opportunity will remain open until the end of 2023.
To express your interest, follow these steps:
- Click on the Apply
- Afterward, you have 2 alternative options: a. Schedule a free 30-minute legal orientation call with a TrustLaw representative. You’ll be able to explain your issue and get a quick assessment on whether you would indeed benefit from legal assistance, what kind, what it would entail, etc. You can also get a better understanding of the TrustLaw process, requirements and next steps
- b. Directly apply for TrustLaw membership. You will need to provide extensive information about your company and articulate your legal assistance needs very clearly. For this reason, we suggest going directly to this step only if you already have a very specific legal request. Make sure to mention that you come through VC4A, as your request will be fast-tracked!
Once you submit the membership application, the TrustLaw team will be contacting you in the following 1-2 weeks to confirm eligibility. Once accepted, you will have to submit your legal request on the TrustLaw portal and schedule a call with TrustLaw lawyer to discuss it. Following the call, TrustLaw legal members (i.e., law firms and in-house legal teams comprising the network) will be able to submit offers to assist you on a pro-bono basis.
On average, it takes around 1 month to successfully connect you with a legal team to support you with your legal need. This will depend on the lawyers’ capacity, the country where the assistance is required, the complexity of the project, and the time of the year. Thanks to TrustLaw’s network of over 150 legal members in Latin America and Africa, connection times in this region usually take less time.
Deadline: August 8, 2023
Click HERE To Apply