Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2014

Publication Citation

21 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 423 (2014)


Lawyers of global law firms have begun to take on complex pro bono representations for clients in peace and constitution-building settings. These lawyers, who often cooperate across different offices of a global law firm, are not acting based on an external mandate but pursuant to an attorney-client relationship. The client is the source of authority and the owner of the process; yet, global law firms that serve pro bono clients are also a form of profit-making transnational corporation. In their day-today business they represent the interests of paying clients. This article will discuss whether and how such constellations can lead to power, infrastructure, and knowledge asymmetries between law firms and their often weak pro bono clients in post-conflict settings. Accordingly, it raises and discusses the following questions: Are the legal profession's domestic codes of conduct strong enough to guarantee good professional conduct by global law firms when providing pro bono services in post-conflict settings with weak or temporarily absent local legal profession institutions? Is it desirable to create a transnational code of conduct for lawyers, law firms, and other institutions for providing pro bono legal services in such fragile peace and constitution building settings? By addressing these questions, this article also approaches pro bono services of global law firms as an example of how interests of the private sphere of lawyer-client relations and the public sphere of peace and constitution building merge, and how the legal profession's codes of conduct regulate global law firms and their legal professionals' conduct as global agents of 'privatized "peace and constitution building efforts.