Vance Center Pro Bono Partners Celebrate Anniversaries and Plan Events

September 2019

(Staff at Fundacion Pro Bono Colombia and Jorge Escobedo | Photo credit: Jorge Escobedo) 

Fundación Pro Bono Colombia and Fundación Pro Bono Venezuela (ProVene) celebrated the tenth anniversaries of their founding as national pro bono clearinghouses. Both organizations are active members of the Pro Bono Network of the Americas, which the Vance Center co-coordinates. Through the network and with the Vance Center, they engage in local and regional pro bono projects, such as a recent research project analyzing the possibility of prosecuting crimes against humanity under universal jurisdiction.

With 80 attorneys, clients, partners, and others attending, Fundación Pro Bono Colombia’s celebration kicked off with words from board chair Paula Samper Salazar. A video highlighted the organization’s growth over the last decade.

Vance Center Director of Pro Bono Partnerships Jorge Escobedo recently met the staff and board of Fundación Pro Bono Colombia to join in planning for the March 2020 annual conference of the Network, which will take place in Bogota, alongside the International Bar Association’s Latin America Regional Forum in Cartagena.

Escobedo also had the opportunity to discuss pro bono practice with deans, faculty, and students at Universidad del Rosario in Bogota. He also attended a “know your rights” session on Venezuelan migrants’ right to health care in Colombia organized by Fundación Pro Bono Colombia. Escobedo additionally presented the Vance Center’s Keep Families Together initiative to Colombian law firm pro bono coordinators at a meeting hosted by Baker & McKenzie. The eleven attendees enthusiastically reaffirmed their commitment to the initiative to assist separated children and immigrants with legal needs in Colombia.

At its 10th anniversary celebration, ProVene showed a video with testimonials of individuals and partner organizations who have received its pro bono legal services. It honored Araque Reyna with its “law firm of the year” award for the firm’s outstanding contributions to pro bono practice in Venezuela.