Established in 1870, the New York City Bar Association is a voluntary association of lawyers and law students. With over 23,000 members and 150 committees, the City Bar Association seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, promote legal reform, improve the administration of justice and uphold standards of integrity within the legal profession. The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice was formed in 2003 to enable lawyers and other members of the legal profession in the United States and abroad to engage in activities to strengthen democratic values, the rule of law and access to justice in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2005, the Vance Center convened a summit of lawyers from the United States and Latin America which eventually led to the Pro Bono Declaration of the Americas. Activities stemming from this Declaration resulted in the establishment of the Pro Bono Network of the Americas, many members of which are current and former Tinker grantees.
This grant from the Tinker Foundation will support the Vance Center to institutionalize the Pro Bono Network of the Americas, with special efforts on promoting pro bono practice in Central America. A hemisphere-wide summit of lawyers will take place in December 2015. Funding from the Tinker Foundation will enable the participation of pro bono advocates and leaders located in Latin America.