Pro Bono and Community Service

Cleary Gottlieb is dedicated to improving the communities in which we live and work, leveraging its international network to assist pro bono clients domestically and across the globe.

In London, lawyers at all levels of seniority are fully supported and encouraged to take part in voluntary legal work and to put our firm-wide commitment to good global citizenship into practice.

  • Our lawyers provide pro bono legal advice to charitable organizations and individuals on issues ranging from corporate and charity law to human rights and domestic violence. In 2015, Cleary entered into a partnership with Toynbee Hall in East London to double the charity’s provision of women-only free legal advice clinics. Volunteers from the London office currently staff the clinic each month, advising on issues including family law, domestic violence, employment and housing.
  • Our pro bono opportunities in London also reflect the firm’s global outlook. Through our involvement in the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Cleary lawyers assist with the resettlement applications of particularly vulnerable refugees in the Middle East. Following the reform of Malawi’s mandatory death penalty laws, we have helped prepare case submissions for the resentencing of prisoners on death row. We also work closely with our international offices to prepare multijurisdictional reports and policy statements in areas of public international law for organizations providing legal services in post-conflict zones.
  • The London office is committed to providing education and opportunities to young people. Lawyers in the London office regularly participate in the Citizenship Foundation’s ‘Lawyers in Schools’ scheme, teaching the legal aspects of citizenship to 14 and 15 year olds. We are involved in the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Words for Work’ project, which brings businesses and schools together to empower young people towards successful employment. We also run two mentoring projects annually: the first involves A-level students from three London schools who have shown an interest in pursuing a legal career; and the second is run through the City Solicitors Horizons programme, a social mobility initiative to improve access to the legal profession for first-year undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We approach our pro bono work exactly as we approach our paying cases: putting the full needs of the client front and center. A supervising partner at the helm of each project ensures that we leverage the full resources of the firm to solve complex legal problems, provide assistance for growing social problems and add value to all required client services.