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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Responsible Business Insights

Creating sustainable change

A pioneering platform for pro bono

Senior Business Advisor for Corporate & Community Development Diana Mitchell discusses how technology is driving further engagement with our pro bono work.

Pro bono work is an integral part of our culture and helps us widen access to justice, education and finance, meaning we can genuinely make a difference in the communities in which we operate. By making it easier for our people to find and volunteer for pro bono opportunities, we can have an even greater impact where it is needed most. 

Here in the US, we have turned to technology to help drive further engagement in our pro bono programme, signing up to join what is now the world’s first global pro bono infrastructure platform for law firms and legal aid organisations. Paladin connects volunteer lawyers with legal services organisations and allows us to efficiently manage and track pro bono work while creating a curated list of opportunities for lawyers based on their individual interests and preferences.

In just the first year, Paladin has helped us to increase our pro bono hours by more than 93%, while at the same time saving around 100 hours of administrative work, so it’s already had a significant effect on the efficiency of our programme. In addition, it’s allowed us to work with new community partners, which means we’ve ultimately been able to have a greater impact. We’re also able to use the platform to review feedback on pro bono mandates, see which skills such work has helped develop in our volunteers and get a real sense of which areas are continuing to interest our lawyers.

Adopting Paladin has been such a success in the US that the firm has extended its pilot to the UK and Spain. This investment is a real demonstration of how seriously Clifford Chance takes this kind of work and should enable opportunities for even more global collaboration across the firm.

On a personal note, I’m proud to work somewhere that has pro bono embedded in its culture and has a real commitment to the community. The firm continues to lead the way by adopting innovative technologies such as Paladin to not only further our community objectives but also to empower and support the skills development of our people.