Honoring its socially responsible value, the firm is committed to providing voluntary and free legal assistance to the poor and disadvantaged through social and religious institutions in partnership with the office.
The art. 30 of the OAB Code of Ethics and Discipline defines pro bono advocacy as the free, occasional and voluntary provision of legal services in favor of non-economic social institutions and natural persons who do not have resources without prejudice to their own livelihood, hire a lawyer.
Pro bono advocacy can not be used for political-partisan or electoral purposes, nor can it benefit institutions that pursue these goals, or as an advertising tool for attracting clients.
In the practice of pro bono advocacy, they are barred from practicing remunerated law in any sphere for the natural or legal person who uses their pro bono services. Pro bono work is characterized as a free, voluntary and supportive activity. In the legal area, it refers to legal services provided free of charge to those who are unable to afford the costs of the process and hiring a lawyer.
Flávia Piovesan (2013, p. 40): "Latin America has the highest degree of inequality in the world. Five of the ten most unequal countries in the world are in Latin America, among them Brazil. Not only is the accentuated degree of inequality enough, the region still stands out as the most violent in the world. It concentrates 27% of homicides, taking only 9% of the world population. Ten of the twenty countries with the highest homicide rates in the world are Latin Americans (Marta Lagos and Lucía Dammert, La Seguridad Ciudadana: The main problem in Latin America, Latinobarómetro, May 9, 2012, page 3).
Piovesan continues, Brazil still stands out as the sixth largest economy in the world, with the 84th position in the Human Development Index (HDI), which measures the effective quality of life of the population, based on life expectancy, schooling, per capita income and income inequality. In this perspective, the richness of the country's economy is not focused, but the way in which its population exercises the most basic rights. In the Brazilian case, marked social inequality is the biggest factor to justify the country's frustrating position in the HDI - far from neighboring Chile (44th), Argentina (45th) and Uruguay (48th).
The founding member of the Pro Bono Institute, the constitutionalist Oscar Vilhena Vieira, in the article published in Folha de S.Paulo on June 13, 2015: "The fact is that Public Defenders, who perform Herculean work, do not have the dimension According to Ipea data, presented in 2013, there are less than 6,000 public defenders throughout the country, to meet a potential contingent of 40 million people still living in poverty, of whom 16 In 72% of localities that have judges, the most vulnerable have not secured their right of access to justice for lack of a public defender. "
In an article published in the Pro Bono Institute magazine in December 2012, he gives an account of this good practice in Brazil:
"Luis Gama, born in 1830, the son of a Portuguese nobleman and a freed slave, initiated the offer of services of this character in Brazil. Sold illegally as a slave by his own father and literate by a friend on a farm, he was also an educated lawyer. He was a listener to the Law School of Largo de São Francisco (USP), and he advocated for several slaves in abolitionist causes. Luis Gama announced his services in newspapers, offered without any cost to defend causes of liberation of slaves, and managed to free more than 500 slaves, some say 1000. There was born the offer of solidarity, voluntary, pro bono advocacy. Luis Gama died in 1882, but he was not alone: other renowned jurists, like Ruy Barbosa, fought and worked for the cause.
Ruy Barbosa, one of the most respected jurists and one of the most brilliant intellectuals in Brazil, who accompanied the drafting of the Civil Code of 1916, practiced pro bono advocacy on abolitionist causes since 1888. One of his best known acts was the burning of government, when in 1889, after the abolition of slavery, the state was forced to indemnify the owners of slaves in various suits filed. The purpose of this order was to prevent the owners of the freed slaves from having any evidence to investigate the cases, but it was also criticized, since it destroyed very important historical records of slavery in Brazil.
Ruy Barbosa is a symbol of the fight against the restriction of civil liberties and fundamental rights and in one of its most emblematic cases, it acted pro bono when sailors revolted against the Brazilian Navy, due to corporal punishment imposed on them in an event known as the Chibatas Revolt . The Minister of the Navy, then, kept several sailors in jail, and Ruy Barbosa made an oral habeas corpus to the then president Marshal Hermes da Fonseca, for the immediate freedom of the sailors, obtaining success.
There were several jurists involved in social causes and offered their legal services free of charge in order to see - and do - guaranteed the right of access to justice. The idea of the social function of advocacy prevailed. Proof of this is that the first Statute of the OAB, shortly after its creation in 1930, expressed in article 1 the lawyer's duty to defend the poorest. The right of access to justice then became constitutional when it was included in the Constitutional Charter of 1934, which expressly provided that the State should provide legal assistance to all.
The lawyer Sobral Pinto, one of the most famous Brazilian lawyers and defender of human rights, was acting in a pro bono way".
By João Ozorio de Melo, correspondent of the magazine Legal Adviser. United States, September 22, 2015.
"Since the news that Pope Francisco is going to visit this Thursday (24/9), the Catholic Charities Legal Network, a Catholic entity from Washington (USA) dedicated to the pro bono advocacy, the number of lawyers working with the organization grew 15% in about two weeks, according to the entity's own accounts. And it should increase a lot more with coverage of the Pope's visit.
I've never heard of most of the stand-alone lawyers and newsstands who came to the organization in recent days to make themselves available to the organization, LegalTimes told the director James Bishop The legal network of the non-profit organization has a group of lawyers who come to headquarters to provide free legal services to the poor, but the bulk of the organization's job is to interview people who need these services According to the director, the legal service offered by the entity meets the most common daily problems of the poor: cases of divorce, custody of children and alimony, defense of the consumer and bankruptcy, disagreements between tenants and property owners, and labor and discrimination cases.
In 2014, the organization worked with 625 lawyers and 50 volunteer law firms. The entity tries to help all people who seek it, regardless of their religion, said the director."
"The lawyer, indispensable to the administration of the Justice, is defender of the Democratic State of Right, of the human rights and fundamental guarantees, of citizenship, of morality, of Justice and of the social peace, fulfilling to him to exercise its ministry in accordance with its high public function and with the values that are inherent to it. "
Thus, our objective is to stimulate the practice of solidarity advocacy and public interest, social responsibility, contribute to the democratization of integral access to justice, to consolidate the Democratic State of Law and human rights in the country.