The Pro Bono practice – the first pillar of Mattos Filho’s social ecosystem – seeks to impact society by defending and promoting human rights, strengthening civil society organizations and improving public policy. For over twenty years, Mattos Filho’s pioneering program of free legal services has harnessed its professionals’ expertise for the benefit of civil society, assisting organizations in this area with a focus on reducing social inequality.
“In our profession, there is nothing better than volunteering. The Brazilian Bar Association’s (OAB) statute also stresses the social nature of law,” said Roberto Quiroga, Mattos Filho’s managing partner. By the end of 2020, the firm had dedicated more than 120,000 hours to pro bono activities.
Within human rights, Mattos Filho places a specific focus on causes regarding ethnicity and race, women’s rights, refugees, immigrants and LGBTQIAP+ groups. Our firm understands that these causes suffer from a lack of proper access to justice, facing structural problems which require high-quality legal advice if they are to be transformed.
In light of Brazil having one of the world’s largest prison populations, Mattos Filho also defends inmates in custody hearings, free of charge. The firm also provides assistance in strategic litigation and legal services in important cases with repercussions both in Brazil and before international bodies.
Mattos Filho 100% Pro Bono partner Flavia Regina Oliveira explained the long-term objectives of the practice area. “We have a strategic plan to review our commitment every five years while encouraging all lawyers to take up pro bono services, so that we may amplify social transformation through the justice system. We want to be able to say that our efforts have made a difference twenty years from now, that more lawyers across the market are doing pro bono work, and that the existing stark inequalities in accessing justice have been reduced.”
In our profession, there is nothing better than volunteering. The Brazilian Bar Association’s statute also stresses the social nature of law, and so the firm took the innovative decision to have a group of professionals exclusively dedicated to working with social causes.”