International Legal Resource Center

From The Chair

Timothy L. Dickinson, Chairman


A longstanding partnership of the ABA Section of International Law and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the ILRC stands for the global legal community’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and helping those most in need.

Since 1999, the ILRC has been providing technical legal assistance to UNDP in connection with its rule of law and democratic governance work in developing countries. Our support entails placing legal experts, with impressive international development track records, with UNDP country offices and regional services centers such that they can advise and empower UNDP’s local partners, conducting legal research in support of UNDP legal reform work plans, and assessing legislation on any substantive topic.

Experts for long-term and short-term in-country assignments are selected from a database of over 1,750 members who have an average of 19.5 years of experience and who represent over 100 countries. The added value of the ILRC database is that it contains legal experts from common law, civil law, and mixed jurisdictions with 51.03% of the experts being non-U.S.  Moreover, the ability of the ILRC to draw upon pro-bono contributions of database members helps reduce the cost of technical assistance projects. To join this remarkable group (at no cost) please click here.

Over the years, our services have become increasingly flexible and sophisticated while remaining committed to promoting a pro bono legal culture around the world. Along with our colleagues from UNDP, who regularly tap into the ILRC’s resources, we have taken on progressively complex projects that range from legal empowerment of the poor to institution building and access to justice issues to addressing large scale problems such as system-wide corruption. For a complete list of past ILRC projects, please see our latest Annual Report.

Our experts keep abreast of the latest issues in international development via the ILRC E-bulletin that offers periodic opportunities for training as well as the latest publications in this field. We continually challenge ourselves and sharpen our skills by putting on a Rule of Law Panel Series which takes place during annual conferences of the ABA Section of International Law. This educational tool not only informs the legal community of the latest UNDP innovations but also places UNDP’s work into perspective. Representatives of various contributors to international development participate on the ILRC’s panels as well as local partners from the Global South. Lastly, our ILRC experts participate at the highest levels of the technical legal assistance debate. For example, currently they are at the forefront of the acceleration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight overarching development goals with a target achievement date of 2015. Select ILRC experts are involved in drafting thought pieces delineating the crucial role of the legal community in achieving the MDGs.

While we have celebrated tenth year anniversary with our main client, UNDP, we are in the process of negotiating relationships with additional partners such that the ILRC family can grow and our services and pro bono tradition can continue to span the globe. Won’t you join us?

Timothy L. Dickinson
ILRC Steering Committee

For details on how to partner with the ILRC, please contact Christina Heid, International Projects Director, at +1-202-662-1034 or