KNP Law, February 28, 2022: In 3 days, more than 2000 lawyers from many countries have joined the online lawyer database, which provides free legal aid to those fleeing Ukraine.
The site https://ukrainelegalaid.org/ has been live since Sunday and serves a dual purpose. On one hand, lawyers from all over the world can apply, who can provide free legal aid to refugees from Ukraine, also those who are forced to leave their homes can search the database. Lawyers can specify their location, their jurisdiction and their asylum and refugee experience. Of course, all lawyers undertake to provide advice pro bono, free of charge. The site is currently available in English, Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, but will soon be available in Hungarian and other languages.
The collaboration started in Hungary when Oliver Koppany of KNP LAW took to social media. “I posted on LinkedIn and Instagram that if there are any of my friends who can and want to help, get in touch with me. In the first few hours, we received more than 400 emails, and on Friday and Saturday we organized the data with my colleagues, and with the involvement of developers, we put together a searchable database and a contact form on Sunday” - the lawyer said. The initiative went viral on Instagram on the BigLawBoiz account, and is being picked up by North American Biglaw firms as well, including Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
It started as a Google Spreadsheet, and now has evolved into a searchable, useable database supported by developers around the world to make it as easy to use as possible.
At present, the vast majority of the lawyers registered are from North America, so it would be very important for as many European lawyers as possible to reach out - also they are looking forward to spread the information amongst NGO’s, governments and municipalities that are involved or related to the crisis.
Unlike any other news items in CEELM, these are published as received with no other edits than outlined in this editorial note.