27 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 1 (2020)
This article does not discuss whether pro bono programs should
exist in Colombia, or whether they cause positive transformation in the
legal profession. These issues are examined in other types of legal
literature, and this author departs from the standpoint of viewing this
type of work as a positive practice within the legal culture. 28 The main
thesis of this article is that pro bono work is still developing in
Colombia, both in its numbers of participating attorneys and clients, as
well as in the ways it is affecting the legal culture. As important as it
might be, the work of the PBF has not yet reached significant service
levels, and there are still structural barriers to the emergence and
solidification of a pro bono culture in many law firms, particularly the
smaller ones, and solo practitioners in Colombia. The removal of these
barriers might contribute to the elimination of structural social
inequalities and a more significant contribution of the legal profession
to this goal.
How is institutionalized pro bono serving its purpose of broadening
and equalizing access to justice in Colombia? How are law firms, in
particular, responding to this goal? Who else needs to chip in to make
the system work better for the under-resourced population? In short,
and in addition to providing a detailed description of the current state of
pro bono efforts in the country, this paper seeks to answer the question:
how can pro bono institutions and lawyers in Colombia increase the
quality and volume of their services?
This article presents empirical analysis to evaluate whether pro
bono work has increased citizens' exercise of their right to access justice,
and whether institutionalized forms of it have been successful. Statistics
from the PBF are the primary resource for measurement of the pro bono
efforts carried out by its member law firms annually. Also, during the
first month of 2017, the author surveyed the pro bono coordinators of
the PBF member firms. This survey was also distributed to the first
group of pro bono interns from Los Andes University Law School. It
gathered information on pro bono structure, institutions, internships,
and overall prioritizing of pro bono efforts at each of the firms.
Bejarano Ricaurte, Ana
"Pro Bono Work in Colombia: How Can It Help Broaden, Equalize, and Ensure Access to Justice,"
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies: Vol. 27
, Article 7.
Available at: https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijgls/vol27/iss1/7
Available for download on Saturday, February 15, 2025