During her final year at IE Law School, recent Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) graduate, Ghizlane Laaouej, completed a three-month banking and pro bono internship at Allen & Overy, an international law firm. Ghizlane learned about the internship through IE Law School’s Legal Clinic and immediately knew what a great opportunity it would be to practice in the banking sector while also getting experience with pro bono work.
IE University’s social initiatives make law students strong candidates for pro bono internships
The Allen & Overy pro bono internship selection was led by the Fundación Pro Bono España. This Madrid-based foundation helps nonprofits and other social organizations by facilitating their access to legal services.
When selecting interns, the foundation looks for people who are extremely committed to the third sector and have previous pro bono work experience. The third sector, or nonprofit sector, differentiates itself from the public and the private sector and can include organisations such as charities, social enterprises and volunteer groups. IE University students rank highly for this thanks to the IE Law School’s Legal Clinic.
The Legal Clinic provides free legal assistance to NGOs, foundations and people in need, allowing students to get hands-on experience working with many types of organizations within the third sector.
Ghizlane says that pro bono internships are perfect for students who love law but are also concerned and interested in what’s happening in the world around them, particularly in the third sector. At Allen & Overy, Ghizlane was able to experience a type of law firm that she hopes to one day work in—one that not only practices law but is also involved in social projects.
Bringing a fresh perspective to pro bono work
Ghizlane was the Fundación Pro Bono España’s first pro bono ambassador. She not only met but also surpassed the organization’s expectations. She blew them away with her ability to meet the three main goals of the foundation: raising awareness, promoting collaboration and networking within the legal sector and addressing the legal questions of organizations within the third sector.
During her internship, Ghizlane worked with Fundación Pro Bono España on pro bono matters alongside Allen & Overy professionals. She also helped implement the Allen & Overy Pro Bono Committee, which was one of the Fundación Pro Bono España’s main goals for her internship.
Jimena Urretavizcaya, a partner at Allen & Overy, says that Ghizlane brought fresh new ideas to the firm, a strong desire to work and learn and a new way of looking at the pro bono sector.
Ghizlane is currently studying a dual master’s degree at Carlos III University of Madrid in law and international law (Doble Máster en Acceso al Ejercicio de la Abogacía y Abogacía Internacional). She hopes to motivate and inspire future IE Law School students to join pro bono internships to get first-hand experience working at a law firm and learn the importance of social projects. Thanks to the success of Ghizlane’s internship, Allen & Overy have committed to working with another law fellow in 2023 and are looking forward to the experience!