A&L Goodbody and the Irish Refugee Council’s Independent Law Centre were awarded the ‘2015 European Award for Local Pro Bono Impact’ by PILnet at the European Pro Bono Forum in Rome on Thursday, 12 November. The award was given in recognition of the A&L Goodbody’s innovative pro bono programme which provides essential legal services to people claiming refugee status in Ireland, and is the first and only initiative of its kind in the country.
Presented by PILnet, an independent non-profit organisation that works to challenge injustice through law and policy, the award recognises the best and most innovative pro bono legal project undertaken by a law firm and/or an NGO across Europe. It was awarded to A&L Goodbody and the Irish Refugee Council for their work in providing legal representation to asylum seekers who have experienced trauma in their home countries and require legal support in navigating the Irish asylum process.
Since the beginning of the programme in 2013, 70 A&L Goodbody lawyers have undertaken comprehensive training and mentoring in refugee law, and have dedicated over 2,600 hours to 26 individual asylum cases. The Firm offers legal representation at the beginning of the asylum procedure, a process known as “early legal advice”.
Pictured above: Eamonn Conlon, Partner, A&L Goodbody and Brian Collins, Solicitor, Irish Refugee Council.