PBI recently sat down with Hadeel Abdel Aziz, co-founder and executive director of the Justice Center for Legal Aid (JCLA), located in Amman, Jordan. Aziz visited the U.S. this fall as an Eisenhower Fellow and met with Law Firm Pro Bono Project Director Tammy Taylor and Global Pro Bono Project Coordinator Sri Katragadda to discuss pro bono and access to justice, both in the U.S. and in Jordan.
A nonprofit organization established in 2008, JCLA has grown from one legal aid clinic in Amman into the largest legal aid provider in Jordan, with 25 clinics located across the country. In 2009, JCLA provided legal representation to clients in 78 matters, which grew to 2,477 in 2014. One-on-one legal consultation sessions grew from 141 in 2009 to 4,518 in 2014. Today, JCLA reports that on a monthly basis it assists approximately 375 beneficiaries through legal consultations, provides legal representation to approximately 150 beneficiaries across 200 cases, and reaches approximately 3,600 vulnerable people through its awareness sessions.
JCLA, using both its own attorneys as well as pro bono volunteers, assists poor and vulnerable people by:
- Raising awareness of legal rights and legal aid;
- Providing free legal services, through either legal consultation or legal representation; and
- Gathering data on access to justice barriers and advocating for reforms to overcome such barriers.
We will stay tuned for future developments in Jordan and we wish Aziz and JCLA all the best with their continuing work in providing legal assistance to the needy.