The Clearing House aims to enlighten the Nigerian society on how justice for all cannot be actualised without a deliberate pro bono culture. Through its pro bono work and partnerships, the Clearing House hopes to bring sound legal advice, representation, and counselling to those who would ordinarily have no access to it by reason of their financial or social status.
The Clearing House
The Clearing House was set up in 2018 and is firmly committed to enabling disadvantaged and underprivileged persons have access to justice, counsel, and legal services at no cost to them. The Clearing House aims to bridge the gap between persons and organisations seeking legal services and lawyers or law firms willing to provide these services pro bono, voluntarily and at no cost to the recipient.
Some of the other objectives of The Clearing House are:
- The improvement of access to justice to all, regardless of socio-economic background
- The promotion of the rule of law;
- The support of national and international development including specific goals, such as the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals;
- Raising awareness of pro bono work in Nigeria and promoting the culture within firms and practitioners;
The promotion of the use of law as a tool to achieve social justice.
While lawyers in Nigeria are not under any legal obligation to carry out pro bono activities, the Nigeria Bar Association has shown firm support and encouragement towards the delivery of pro bono services. In addition, to qualify as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, an applicant must show evidence of having rendered pro bono cases to indigent clients .The clearinghouse provides an easy and efficient avenue for lawyers to fulfill these obligations.
Pro bono is where legal advice, legal services, or legal representation is provided voluntarily by lawyers or law firms to individuals, organisations, or charities at no cost. Pro bono work will usually focus on matters that are of public interest that would otherwise be funded by the public, legal aid, or alternative means. Additionally, pro bono work tends to veer away from legal matters with commercial flavour. The targeted recipients of pro bono services are usually indigent persons with limited to no access to legal services.
Are you a lawyer in Nigeria and looking to provide pro bono legal services in any of our focus areas?