Initial expectation is to provide legal advice to at least 80 people per Saturday
TozziniFreire Advogados and the NGO UNAS, in collaboration with the Pro Bono Institute, are working together to provide legal assistance to the population of the Heliópolis community, in the West Zone of São Paulo. The initiative, which will take place once a month, always on Saturdays, at UNAS headquarters, from 9am to 3pm, mobilizes more than 100 volunteers, including lawyers, administrative staff and trainees.
The first and second actions have already taken place and date: April 27, exceptionally at CEU Heliópolis, and May 25, at the UNAS headquarters. According to Maria Elisa Gualandi Verri, a partner in the area of Corporate Social Investment of TozziniFreire Advogados, the expectation is to receive 80 residents per Saturday, and the objective is to guide those interested in their rights.
“We noticed that the joint effort was not created for a legal representation. We will be there to listen to people and signal the path to be taken. For example, how the law works on a certain subject, what documents are needed, what agency that person should look for, whether to seek public advocacy or not. This is an important guidance to give legal information to the community”, explains Maria Elisa.
When people show up, the person – or family – will be received for an initial screening and then move on to the free legal consultation, focusing on the issue they are interested in. To perform this service, the lawyers have received a special training in São Paulo to, as clearly as possible, host those who seek guidance.
According to the organizations involved in the project – TozziniFreire and UNAS – Heliópolis was chosen because it is one of the largest communities in São Paulo. The program also counts on the collaboration of volunteers from partner law firms.