Guidance > Grantee Resources > TrustLaw
Free legal assistance for grantees
AmplifyChange is proud to be an official referral partner of TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme. TrustLaw connects the best law firms and corporate legal teams around the world with high-impact NGOs and social enterprises working to create social and environmental change. TrustLaw works with over 600 legal teams across 175 countries that generously support the legal needs of our member organisations for free.
What is this service?
AmplifyChange has partnered with TrustLaw to facilitate free legal assistance for our grantees. Applying and using the service is entirely free of charge.
Since the programme launched in 2010, more than 2,400 teams of lawyers have assisted organisations like your own.
To learn more about using the service, please view this introductory video, which covers the dos and don’ts of using the service and explains exactly how you can go about requesting free legal assistance.
How can my organisation apply?
To access this pro bono support, you will need to sign up to their free service:
(Applicants are asked to provide as much information as possible when filling in the application form for quicker processing)
Please be sure to indicate in your application how you are associated with us (as an AmplifyChange grantee) – this will fast-track your application. AmplifyChange is an official referral partner of this programme, so your application to TrustLaw will be fast tracked.
Examples of the types of projects TrustLaw can help with:
Protecting intellectual property matters and trademark
Award winning social enterprise Friends International worked with law firms Tilleke Gibbins International, LGP Asia, Leks and Co, and Clayton Utz to have their intellectual property protected in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Australia respectively, after becoming aware of attempts to copy some of their projects.
Registering your organisation and/or deciding which legal structure to adopt
Torys, one of Canada’s leading law firms, advised Swiss humanitarian aid agency Medair on registering in Canada, a move which Medair expects would provide support for their work in Haiti and throughout the world.
Drafting or reviewing partnership agreements, contracts, templates, etc.
Open Cinema, a UK network of participatory film clubs for homeless or vulnerable people, received assistance in preparing a risk assessment template which could be applied to new venues in a range of social sector environments, as well as a health and safety policy for their staff.
Employment/HR issues or contract negotiations with staff, volunteers, customers, or partners
Future First is a social business working to revolutionise careers advice across the UK through the creation of alumni networks, bringing former students back to their old schools to inspire and advise current pupils. Jones Day assisting them with employment agreements for their work shadowing programme volunteers.
Tax/ Tax incentives
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) works with donors and NGOs across all charitable cause areas, with the mission of motivating more effective giving to transform lives and communities around the world. Lawyers provided research on laws and policies relating to available tax incentives for both individual and corporate donors in selected countries. CAF will then use the research to create a framework that will enable a comparison and ranking of the favourability of the giving environment for donors in each country.
Research on laws in multiple countries, comparing best (and worst) practices. Please find some of their success stories and published research programmes here on issues such as domestic labour rights, human trafficking, domestic violence, acid violence, women’s access to land rights, disability rights and many more.
How long will it take to find free legal assistance?
On average, it takes approximately one month to find free legal assistance through TrustLaw.
The process is as follows:
- Organisations can apply for TrustLaw membership via apply.trust.org
- The membership application will be vetted by the TrustLaw team. You will be notified within two-three weeks of the outcome. The more information you provide in the application, the faster the processing time.
- If approved for membership, you will be sent a personal login to the TrustLaw web portal where you can post a legal request.
- Within three days of posting a legal request, the TrustLaw legal team will set up a call with you to discuss the legal request.
- Following the call, the project request will be finalised and shared on the web portal with 600+ law firm members to see and express interest in working on.
- After two weeks of the project being on the web portal, TrustLaw will advise if you have had any offers of assistance from a legal team.
- You select which legal team you would like to work with, and we introduce you to the legal team to start work on the project.
- If you have not had any offers of assistance after two weeks, TrustLaw will continue to seek free legal assistance until your project is connected with a legal team.
- Following the introduction to the legal team, TrustLaw will check in with you and the legal team to ensure the legal project is progressing and provide support if required.
- At the end of the project you will be asked to provide feedback to TrustLaw about using the TrustLaw service.
To learn more, please visit the TrustLaw website or contact Shiura Rasheed at TrustLaw directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.