Lawyers Against Poverty was set up by Oxfam in 2015 by a group of lawyers passionate about fighting the injustice of poverty worldwide. LAP’s founding members aimed to build a community of lawyers willing to use their skills to tackle social inequality and, through LAP’s Justice Fund, to support strategic legal interventions to alleviate poverty worldwide. As one of its early projects, a group of LAP lawyers visited Tajikistan to support Oxfam’s work supporting the economic and legal empowerment of rural women, leading to LAP’s first programme ‘twinning’ female Tajik lawyers with lawyers in Europe to provide peer support and share ideas.
Since then, LAP members have dedicated their time to realise the potential of the law to tackle inequality, developing new partnerships through special interest groups focused on issues including women’s rights, indigenous land rights and refugee rights, encouraging the next generation of social justice advocates through LAP’s Junior Lawyers’ Network and launching new and innovative initiatives like LAP’s Refugee Legal Confidence Sessions.
LAP’s Justice Fund has also supported projects in Uganda, Nigeria, Greece, Pakistan, Kenya and Jordan. Since 2015, these have included litigation that led to a significant victory for women’s rights in Nigeria, improving access to lawyers for victims of discrimination in Pakistan, providing critical legal services in the Moria refugee camp in Lesvos and funding legal support for victims of gender-based violence in Jordan.
Following the success of its first 5 years, LAP registered as an independent charity in 2020. With the generous support of the Joffe Trust, LAP will continue its ambitions to support a growing movement of lawyers and members of the wider legal community committed to alleviating poverty worldwide.