Egy friss cikk Az Utcajogász és egy nemzetközi jogi cég pro bono együttműködéséről a PILNeten angolul.
An article about the pro bono cooperation between Streetlawyers and an international law firm in Budapest has been recently posten on PILNet.
The international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and the Budapest-based grass-roots group A Város Mindenkié (The City is for All, or AVM) were recently linked in a successful pro bono partnership that resulted in the provision of free legal services to a vulnerable and marginalized group – homeless people in Budapest. PILnet interviewed Dániel Simonyi, a Weil Associate who has worked with AVM on this important project, and Tibor Kis and Tamás Schádi, two activists with The City is for All.
What kind of pro bono activities has Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP carried out recently?
Weil adheres to the principles of pro bono legal services in Budapest as well as the US. We have been in touch with a number of Hungarian and international NGOs, and our cooperation with AVM is but one example. We can provide assistance to NGOs in all areas through successful and meaningful cooperation.
How did the cooperation between Weil Gotshal and AVM begin?
During a breakfast organized by PILnet for those involved in pro bono practice in Budapest, Weil lawyers met representatives of AVM. We discovered a mutual understanding that developed into a fruitful working relationship, which has since borne many positive and tangible results.
Tell us more about the work of AVM and its impact on those it seeks to help.
AVM is a self-motivated organization of homeless people and their allies. By providing employment and involving employees who themselves are homeless in such a worthwhile project, the organization helps those in a need a great deal. The group provides pro bono legal services and conducts several workshops for homeless people and social workers that deal with issues related to homelessness. AVM also runs a program called Street Lawyer through which homeless people can receive free legal assistance.
What are the results of the cooperation between Weil and AVM?
Without a doubt, the most significant results of our collaboration is the Street Lawyer program, through which Weil provides free legal assistance to homeless people. Weil also established a telephone hotline for lawyers in the Street Lawyer program who, in case they face unexpected legal questions, can call the Weil office for information to be retrieved from the Internet or legal databases.
What form does the legal assistance take?
Simonyi: Through the Street Lawyer program, Weil provides assistance in person, although we mainly provide help over the aforementioned telephone hotline. In addition, we are trying to address complex problems in legislation faced by homeless people more generally. For example, the current legislation with regard to address cards – which requires a card in order to carry out basic daily activities, such as opening a bank account – is discriminatory and exclusionary against homeless people, and we are working on improving this situation.
AVM representatives: AVM also provides trainings on homelessness to participating lawyers. In order to best serve the project’s clients, lawyers work in partnership with AVM activists. Homeless activists can better understand the client’s problems and are uniquely placed to advise the lawyer on how to best serve the client’s interest.
Will the cooperation between Weil Gotshal and AVM continue?
Definitely, because AVM is an ambitious group with extensive plans for the future. Moreover, working with them has been a joy, and we could see tangible results of their impact on the everyday life of homeless people.
Does Weil plan to extend its pro bono work?
Yes, the office is improving its pro bono legal services continually, but we emphasize the quality instead of the quantity of our pro bono work. We would like to provide a higher standard of pro bono legal services to our current and future clients and strengthen our existing partnerships.
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