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DLA Piper Law Firm Advises National Urban League

DLA Piper law firm advised on a pro bono basis the National Urban League, a historic civil rights organisation dedicated to economic empowerment that elevates the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities, on its development of the framework of a comprehensive agenda aimed at leveraging the tools of the information economy to create a more equitable and inclusive society.

The National Urban League, formerly known as the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, is a nonpartisan historic civil rights organisation based in New York City that advocates on behalf of economic and social justice for African Americans and against racial discrimination in the United States.

The Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion includes steps such as deploying broadband networks everywhere in the country, connecting every household to broadband networks, utilising the networks to improve delivery of essential services and creating new opportunities for underserved communities to participate in the growth of the digital economy.

The plan is named for Lewis Howard Latimer, a 19th-century draftsman, soldier, scientist and researcher whose parents were born into slavery and who worked with Alexander Graham Bell on the development of telephones and with Thomas Edison on electric lighting.

Under the Latimer Plan, the Federal Communications Commission would re-examine network performance standards, pinpoint areas without any broadband network, eliminate restrictions that disqualify providers who could deliver service quickly and efficiently, and allocate subsidies necessary to close the availability gap.

The plan recommends the creation of a federal Office of Digital Equity to coordinate training, as well as a major restructuring of the FCC’s Lifeline Program, which subsidises communication services for low-income households.

The plan also would require companies that benefit from federal investment to improve access to economic opportunity, and it would direct the Department of Commerce and the FCC to collect information that allows the government and the public to understand and evaluate how the private sector is improving diversity, equity and inclusion.

DLA Piper Law Firm Builds Pro Bono Culture in Colombia

DLA Piper law firm’s non-profit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world, recently taught an online seminar on pro bono to more than 30 undergraduate law students at the Universidad del Rosario.

Pro bono work is legal advice or representation provided free of charge by legal professionals in the public interest. This can be to individuals, charities or community groups who cannot afford to pay for legal help and cannot get legal aid or any other means of funding.

During the course, which was held on November 18, Lisa Dewey, DLA Piper’s pro bono partner and director of New Perimeter, and Sara Andrews, senior international pro bono counsel and assistant director of New Perimeter, spoke to the participating students about the importance of pro bono legal work and how they can get involved in pro bono over the course of their legal careers.

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country spanning South America and an insular region in North America.

The project is part of an eight-year relationship between New Perimeter, the Universidad del Rosario and Fundación Pro Bono Colombia to encourage and help create a culture of pro bono in Colombia.

Over the course of the collaboration, New Perimeter has sent lawyers to Colombia to teach law students and practicing lawyers about legal social responsibility, the use of pro bono to address unmet legal needs and increase access to justice, and the history of pro bono in the United States and around the world.

This is the first time New Perimeter connected virtually with Colombian students.