First of its kind regional pro bono platform will help recruit volunteers across Europe to help with urgent legal and translation needs.
In a unique partnership, the Legal Development Network (LDN), a group of Ukrainian community-based organizations that promotes people-centered justice through legal aid, legal education, strategic advocacy, and other empowerment tools, and Paladin, a U.S.-based justice tech company whose mission is to increase access to justice through scaling pro bono programs, today launched a regional pro bono portal to assist with Ukrainian relief efforts. LinGo, a non-profit social enterprise that addresses public interests via legal innovations in Ukraine, will be managing the network to help coordinate connections between clients who need help and attorneys who are well-suited to assist.
Through the experience, clients who need legal assistance will be able to connect with the LDN team and relevant resources through their online chat box and chatbot, Pravoman. If the client qualifies for pro bono assistance, the LinGo team will match them up with a pro bono lawyer through Paladin to facilitate the work directly. Lawyers and business professionals interested in volunteering can sign up here to assist with refugee/immigration applications; housing; labor rights; access to public services (medicine, education, social protection); business related issues, and translation assistance. There is an urgent need for volunteer lawyers who are licensed to practice across Europe, particularly in Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova.
”According to UNHCR, as of March 24, more than 4 million Ukrainians had fled abroad searching for security. Legal aid is just as necessary for them as humanitarian aid. We are grateful to Paladin for the opportunity to help these people and encourage us to take part in the initiative,” said Yevgen Poltenko, LDN’s Executive Director. ”Today, the proactive stance of our partners inspires us as well. We are convinced that the synergy of our actions will be part of the justice victory.”
LDN reports that the top legal requests through their intake include: how to recover lost documents; conditions for immigrating abroad, especially with children; labor-related rights in martial law; how to move a business to a safer location; destinations for evacuation and migration; and general support for socially vulnerable groups, including social benefits, pensions, utility bills, etc. In addition, in the past few weeks, LDN has helped relocate their staff and families from hotspots to other areas in Ukraine; prepared and disseminated legal and humanitarian information across the country; built out humanitarian centers to provide clothing, medicine, food, and equipment to those in need; and served nearly 2,500 individuals with legal assistance in person and through remote tools.
“All of us have been devastated watching the war in Ukraine unfold, and we want to help however we can. LDN has done an incredible job mobilizing resources thus far to help with humanitarian and legal efforts, and we’re honored to provide our technology to help match people in need with volunteers as quickly as possible,” said Kristen Sonday, Co-Founder and CEO at Paladin.
To get involved, volunteers can visit the LDN Pro Bono Portal directly to sign up. LDN is also taking donations. By partnering virtually, LDN, LinGo and Paladin can connect those who need help with volunteers around the world as the situation evolves in real-time.
Legal Development Network (LDN)
- Legal Development Network (LDN) is a union of non-governmental community-based organizations from all Ukraine regions that promotes people-centered justice by legal aid, legal education, strategic advocacy, and other legal empowerment tools. LDN was founded in 2009 with the underlying mission to bridge the gap in access to justice.
- Paladin’s mission is to increase access to justice by helping legal teams run more efficient pro bono programs. They work with law firms, in-house corporate teams, bar associations, and legal services organizations to help increase pro bono engagement and streamline the referral workflow.
- Legal Innovations NGO or just LinGo is a non-profit social enterprise that takes care of public interests via legal innovations in Ukraine. LinGo’s mission is to create an innovative environment and cultivate entrepreneurship to catalyze everyone’s self-development on the path to freedom, happiness, and justice.
- Pravoman is a platform for automated consultations based on the analysis of individual user requests. Pravoman provides automated real-time consultations via chatbots in Telegram, Facebook, Viber and webchat on the site.