12 Nov 2019 - by Andrew MacKay

A4ID’s Global Development Legal Clinic: Providing Answers to Your Most Pressing Legal Questions

During September 2019, A4ID launched the first of a regular series of Global Development Legal Clinics* in partnership with Latham & Watkins LLP.

A4ID’s exciting new legal clinic service provides the opportunity for NGOs, international development charities, humanitarian relief organisations and human rights or development focused social enterprises to sit down with a dedicated team of lawyers to address specific legal questions or identify and discuss any areas of potential concern. Eleven of A4ID’s Development Partners participated in this dynamic event and received bespoke free legal advice from Latham & Watkins. We caught up with some of them afterwards to find out how it went

Did the Global Development Legal Clinic open your eyes to how the law can help you? If so, what did you learn?

The Global Development Legal Clinic organised by A4ID provided valuable advice at a very important time for Right to Education (RTE). During the clinic, I had a face-to-face meeting with employment and property lawyers and was able to ask many useful questions for RTE, which we have subsequently used in drafting and updating RTE’s policies and procedures.

Natalia Dzvelaia, Finance Officer at Right to Education Initiative

Why is the format of a Global Development Legal Clinic useful? How does it address your organisation’s needs?

For us as an NGO, the Global Development Legal Clinic provided a really helpful and clear format for getting legal advice on a variety of topics, from intellectual property to using data, and it was useful to receive professional advice on our contracts, Memoranda of Understanding and processes. It was encouraging to know we come up against a lot of the same questions and issues as other charities, and even other businesses. The clinic gave us a platform for asking some of the day-to-day legal questions we don’t normally have the opportunity to ask! The advice was specific and detailed, yet still in an easily understandable and bite-sized format. Thank you to A4ID and Latham & Watkins!

Katie Bitten, Project Coordinator, RedR UK

Has the Global Development Legal Clinic led you to pursue further assistance from A4ID’s Legal Partners?

The lawyers raised some interesting points during the clinic, which we are planning to request further assistance with through A4ID’s brokerage service. We are very happy with the previous legal support that we have received from A4ID’s Legal Partners, they did a brilliant job and the quality of their work was excellent.

Alexis Lebel, Chief Executive Officer at OpenCBS

Would you recommend the Global Development Legal Clinic to other NGOs or development organisations?

I would highly recommend the clinic to other charities. The legal team assigned to Refugee Rights Europe (RRE) was clearly really committed to helping out and providing both immediate advice on the night itself, as well as an invitation to send further larger requests over the coming weeks. It was a fruitful and enjoyable evening overall, with networking opportunities at the end. Thank you ever so much for including RRE in this event and we look forward to continued collaboration with A4ID and their Legal Partners.

Marta Welander, Executive Director of Refugee Rights Europe

*If you are interested in joining A4ID’s next Global Development Legal Clinic please contact us to reserve a place.