Pro Bono Program

Partnering with Pro Bono Lawyers Across the Globe to Advance Reproductive Rights
CRR Pro Bono Map
The Center partners with pro bono attorneys in more than 70 countries across the world, indicated in navy on the map above

As the only global legal advocacy organization dedicated exclusively to advancing and defending reproductive rights as human rights, the Center for Reproductive Rights works with a network of over 800 pro bono attorneys across more than 70 countries. Our Pro Bono Program, overseen by a professional pro bono staff, engages firm attorneys in the Center’s groundbreaking work on maternal health, assisted reproduction, access to contraception, and safe and legal abortion. Together, Center and firm attorneys advocate in courts, human rights forums, and legislative bodies to secure reproductive autonomy for women around the world. 

U.S. Program

The Center’s U.S. Program works tirelessly to defend constitutionally protected reproductive rights, build case law, expand legal theories, and strengthen legal protections advanced by our mission. We bring high-impact litigation cases to challenge bans and restrictions on reproductive health care, and engage in legislative and administrative advocacy through various strategies, such as providing legal analysis of legislation, and commenting on proposed regulations to policy makers in Congress, the Administration, and state legislatures. This critical work is supplemented by pro bono counsel who partner with U.S. teams in many ways, including: 

  • Co-counseling on impact litigation before state, federal, and circuit courts, including the Supreme Court

  • Drafting amicus briefs at various judicial levels, including the Supreme Court

  • Conducting legal research and analysis on a broad range of reproductive rights issue to support litigation and public policy advocacy

  • Serving as mentors and experts for legal areas outside of the Center’s expertise

Julie Rikelman smiling with counsel Jeffrey Meyers and Anton Metlitsky
Julie Rikelman, Litigation Senior Director, with pro bono co-counsel Jeffrey Meyers and Anton Metlitsky of O’Melveny & Myers on the morning of the Supreme Court oral arguments in June Medical Services v Russo.

Global Legal Program

The Center’s Global Legal Program has been a driving force in many of the most important advances in reproductive rights law worldwide. Offices in Geneva, Bogota, and Nairobi and staff based in Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Germany allow the Center to engage in sustained national and regional  litigation and advocacy, quickly respond to emerging threats and political developments, and serve as a legal and policy leader for the global reproductive rights field. Our global staff, experts in international human rights law, has brought groundbreaking cases before national courts, United Nations committees, and regional human rights bodies that have expanded access to reproductive healthcare, including birth control, safe abortion, and prenatal and obstetric care.  

“Through partnering with the Center for Reproductive Rights, Debevoise lawyers have had the privilege of being able to use the tools of international law to give voice to marginalized women, to further equality and non-discrimination, and to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights. Together, our goal is to make equal justice for all not just an idea but a reality. We look forward to continuing this important partnership with the CRR and to helping promote the continued development of international human rights standards and jurisprudence.”

Patrick Taylor

Partner

Debevoise & Plimpton

Our regional offices, interspersed around the world, incorporate pro bono counsel in the following ways: 

  • Co-counseling with and supporting innovative litigation before global, national, and regional human rights forums

  • Drafting amicus briefs for the Center and/or its partners in support of human rights litigation

  • Conducting global comparative research to assist public policy advocacy, fact sheets, publications, inform global strategy, and provide foundational knowledge for the Center’s global work

  • Preparing submissions pertinent to a country’s periodic review by a United Nations Treaty Monitoring Body, including the Human Rights Council

  • Developing cross-regional judicial training curricula on reproductive rights

UN Human Rights Committee - El Golpe case
The Latin American and Caribbean team along with PP Global, local partners, and Debevoise & Plimpton submitted four petitions before the UN Human Rights Committee in the El Golpe cases.

Business and Regulatory Pro Bono Support

“The pro bono attorneys with whom I’ve had the privilege to work have been true partners: they are completely committed to our cases, work around the clock, and bring invaluable experience and insight to our litigation.”

Julie Rikelman

Litigation Senior Director

Center for Reproductive Rights

The Center also relies on the expertise of its law firm network for a variety of its own corporate, business and regulatory legal needs, including: 

  • Corporate governance advice

  • Guidance on labor and employment issues for the Center’s 200+ attorneys across the globe

  • Counsel on lobbying and electioneering issues, including providing Center-wide compliance training

  • Intellectual property advice in connection with the Center’s external communications, brand, and identity

  • Providing counsel with respect to data privacy and cybersecurity

Annual Impact

800

attorneys provide pro bono services annually

60

law firms from 70 countries across the globe participate

$27 million

pro bono services contributed last year

How to get involved

The Center for Reproductive Rights invites law firms and corporate counsel to join us in advancing reproductive rights. For more information please contact Katie Niejadlik, Senior Manager of Pro Bono Services, at kniejadlik@reprorights.org

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