WOMEN LAWYERS JOINING HANDS (WLJH)
Lawyers are uniquely placed to make significant legal and social contributions that strengthen the rule of law in their countries. Global reports indicate that gender and social diversity at decision-making tables related to the legal, political and commercial life of a country promotes increased prosperity and health, advances in education and makes for a more peaceful society. In Nepal women currently represent only 8% of all registered lawyers and less than 2% are engaged in private practice.
Who we are: WLJH is a Canadian charitable organization whose mission is to develop women as leaders in their profession and their communities, specifically to educate, train, coach and mentor women lawyers in the developing world. Nepal is the first country in which WLJH proposes to conduct its programs.
How we work: WLJH leverages the knowledge and skills of lawyers in the developed world on a pro bono basis to work with the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) and law firms in Nepal to develop, deliver, monitor and assess the WLJH Program.
Expected Outcomes: In the immediate, short and mid- term, an increased number of female lawyers entering and remaining in the private practice of law and with the credentials to be selected as senior advocates, judges,
commission chairs and other legal and non-legal leadership and decision making positions; In the long term, the advancement of the rule of law resulting in increased peace and justice in the developing countries engaged in the program.
Budget and Costs: The five year budget calls for a total of $2.5 million in cash requirements and anticipates $2.5 million in pro bono contributions.
Current Status: WLJH has an agreement with the NBA to assist with the delivery of WLJH programs; Nepali law firms have agreed to provide three-year placements of the Interns; Lawyers and law firms from Australia, Canada, India, the UK and USA have developed WLJH educational curriculum which has been reviewed by Nepali lawyers; The British Council – Nepal has created a three year English language program specifically for WLJH, which culminates in an International Legal English Certificate from Cambridge University; The British Council has committed to provide $450,000 if matching funds are raised.
For detailed information on WLJH’s Governance structure and members, programs and partners go to www.WLJH.org.