Free Legal Advice
The Academy’s Pro Bono Programme was the first of its kind in the Middle East, implemented in 2009, and provides access to justice for those most in need. To enable greater accessibility to justice, the programme was taken to the people in the form of a pro bono clinic initiative either through email or in person. As a volunteer service, these clinic sessions are run on a once per week basis at the Academy’s offices from 0900 to midday. This framework accommodates lawyers who wish to make meaningful professional contributions to society. Volunteer lawyers provide free legal advice to individuals who are unable to afford legal consultation with legal issues that arise within the DIFC area of Dubai and/or fall within the jurisdiction of the DIFC courts. The legally qualified volunteer lawyers offer potential pro bono litigants one-to-one quality time and legal assistance.
The Academy recently improved the programme by increasing consultation sessions to once per week and expanding the volunteer lawyer base to include in-house corporate counsel. The programme assisted more than 350 individuals in 2015, and approximately 400 people in 2016. Forty-seven law firms and more than 135 individual practitioners participate in the programme, and approximately 600 individuals are on track to be assisted in 2017.