Access to Justice Practicum Returns with Second Cohort from Brazil, Chile and Peru

September 2023

The Brazilian chapter of the Vance Center’s Women in the Profession Program, Women in Law Mentoring, and Pro Bono Network of the Americas clearinghouse members in Chile and Peru this month announced the three lawyers selected for the second class of the Access to Justice Practicum.

The three “practitioners” will work for one year at the Alianza Pro Bono Perú, Fundación Pro Bono Chile, and Women in Law Mentoring Brazil, respectively. Lawyers from the local pro bono clearinghouses, sponsors, and Vance Center staff and Committee Members participated in the selection process, choosing the three final practitioners from among 52 applicants.  

The Practicum provides a pathway to public interest law careers, affording hands-on experience and support, including a one-week intensive training program during the year.  

Launched in December 2020, the initiative has received financial support from multinational companies and leading law firms. General Electric, through its Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council of the Global Law & Policy function, led the sponsorships, along with DLA Piper in Peru, Jara del Favero in Chile, and Tauil & Chequer Advogados in Brazil. Sponsors for the previous cohort included Colombian law firm Brigard Urrutia, Argentine law firm Allende & Brea, Mexican law firm Sanchez Devanny, and private companies JP Morgan Chase and Accenture in Argentina. 

The three members of the previous cohort, who began in October 2021, worked on access to justice projects at the Pro Bono and Public Interest Committee in Argentina, Fundación Pro Bono Colombia, and Fundación Barra Mexicana and Centro Mexicano Pro Bono. 

The 2023-2024 Practitioners are: 

Francisca Ugalde Sandoval 


A Chilean lawyer who graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Francisca works as Legislative Coordinator of the NGO Te Protejo, which advocates for products created without testing on animals. She previously completed two internships in the Project to Modernize the Jurisprudence Database of the Directorate of Studies of the Supreme Court in matters of Administrative Sanctions Law and Criminal Law, and an internship at the Office of the Comptroller General.  

Maria Pía Uribe Almeida  


A Peruvian lawyer who graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in 2021, Maria Pía is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in the Second Specialty of Public International Law at the same university. She was an intern for the Executive Director at Alianza Pro Bono Perú (2019–2023), and completed an internship in the Academic and Research Area of ​​the Institute of Democracy and Human Rights of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. She has also volunteered with a number of organizations and contributed various articles to the university’s newsletters. She speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.  

Ravenna Vieira 


A Brazilian lawyer who graduated in Law from Católica do Tocantins University, with specializations in Public, Procedural, Business Law, and Risk Management, Ravenna has worked in private practice and in-house for a multinational basic sanitation company. She was a mentee in the Women in Law Mentoring Association and is currently Coordinator of the association’s Diversity Working Group, as well as a member of the Esperança Garcia Study Group on Race. She believes in the role of feminism and racial diversity as effective tools to promote social and business sustainable development.

Learn more about the program here.