Clifford Chance

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As a leading global law firm, we are committed to providing pro bono services which widen access to justice around the world.

Widening access to justice involves using our talents to support the upholding of the rule of law. Our lawyers participate in a wide range of schemes that aim to give access to legal advice and representation to those who cannot afford to pay for it. Our pro bono clients in this area range from individual members of the community, to NGOs fighting human rights and civil liberties cases in court, and undertaking advocacy and delivering frontline services.

One of the cornerstones of our pro bono programme is our work with legal advice clinics. In New York, we run a regular pro bono clinic, advising women on uncontested divorce cases, Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and battered spouse waivers, and U visa cases.

In London, we participate in seven clinics each week, assisting local residents with issue such as Court of Appeal litigation, domestic violence, employment, welfare benefits, debt and housing. We also advise and represent the parents of autistic children, who are litigating in the Special Educational Needs Tribunal to secure better educational provision for their children.

As part of our commitment to widening access to justice for those who are disadvantaged and without a legal voice, we collaborate with partners to support refugees' asylum applications and work to improve the rights of refugees in their new host countries. Our people are involved in many initiatives in this area, including advising refugees on asylum applications in Hong Kong, Sydney, the UK, Tokyo and Singapore, and working with global strategic pro bono and community outreach client Asylum Access to review asylum seekers' appeal cases. In India, we are assisting asylum seekers with gaining official recognition as refugees and asylum seekers using the UNHCR framework.

We also undertake strategic litigation for NGO clients in higher courts. Our Warsaw Office has undertaken a number of important cases in partnership with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, including in connection with the state's power to make judicial appointments, the coercing of people with mental disabilities into receiving psychiatric treatment and the right to a fair trial.

In London, we recently represented NAS and MIND in a UK Supreme Court case examining the question of when it is permitted for a person who lacks capacity to be deprived of his or her liberty. In the US, we are supporting the Equal Justice Initiative in working to end death in prison sentences for children through a strategic and tactical campaign challenging these sentences around the country.

For more information about our commitment to access to justice, please read our Responsible Business Reports.