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What does it take to create a pro-bono practice that is welcoming and accepting to all? This was the question for HL BaSE, otherwise known as Hogan Lovells Business and Social Enterprise, which is a pro-bono arm for the international law firm. When Do it Now Now partnered with the firm, the aim was to develop an inclusive pro bono program that would provide world-class expertise to innovators and disruptors in the social economy space.
The training session Do it Now Now’s provided built upon the principles of HL BaSE, which is underpinned by the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. In 2020, the firm spent 180,000+ pro bono hours to achieve a lasting impact for social justice and social enterprise innovators. The BaSE practice has supported over 100 businesses a year, and in 2020 it helped 140 impact organisations. It continues to deepen its focus on offering services to a broader cross-section of pro-bono clients. As part of the firm’s widening reach, it wants to develop a robust and inclusive practice to help disrupters from underserved communities achieve their goals. Do it Now Now was able to offer guidance to support the practice in its work towards these aims.
When asked about why it’s essential to build inclusive programmes into their practice, Senior Associate Fenella Chambers said, “Access to our programmes has always been a focus, and the session highlighted how inclusion is so much more than access and that in order to provide the best and most impactful programmes that we can, inclusion is essential. It is also about designing programmes that recognise the shared value of working with our pro bono clients and how it is an exchange of expertise and experience.”
HL BaSE has also provided pro bono advice to entrepreneurs who are part of Do it Now Now’s Afritech XYZ initiative. The legal advice has proved invaluable for the African tech entrepreneurs being supported by Do it Now Now - most in the very early stages of their business journey. HL BaSE’s determination to create an inclusive practice has helped people feel at ease and listened to throughout the process.
Overall, Fenella Chambers feels Do it Now Now’s training has offered clear guidance about how the firm can continue to make its programmes more accessible by centering inclusivity at the core of its offerings.
Through Do it Now Now’s practical training, HL BaSE was immediately able to implement some of the steps covered in the session. A highlight for the practice was remembering the importance of building flexibility into programmes and encouraging honest and open feedback.
With a renewed zeal for championing inclusivity within HL BaSE, Do it Now Now is thrilled to be part of Hogan Lovells continued journey towards a more inclusive future.
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