How to Get Legal Support

How to Get Legal Support

REUTERS/Caren Firouz


Our member groups support cases based on their own organisation’s criteria, but our collective focus is to provide support for independent journalists and media outlets facing legal action as a result of their journalistic work. We consider journalism to be a function shared by a wide range of actors. This includes, but is not limited to, professional full-time journalists and media workers who share information through traditional channels, as well as citizen journalists who may use tools such as the internet and social media for self-publication in print, online or elsewhere.

While we aim to see all journalists receive the legal support they need, we may not be able to respond to every request due to capacity and resource limitations of our members.

The below are examples of the types of legal support the LNJAR can facilitate:

  • Connecting to a lawyer and covering legal fees

    Through its member organisations, LNJAR can connect journalists to reliable lawyers in their country. Grant-making member organisations can help cover legal fees. Direct representation of journalists and media outlets on a pro bono basis will also be provided whenever possible.

  • Strengthening legal representation

    LNJAR can coordinate support to local lawyers by connecting them to teams of pro bono firms or civil society organisations who can provide additional ad-hoc support.

  • Strengthening the case

    As a case progresses, many different types of support can be provided:

    • Journalists and their lawyers can be connected to organisations that can help gather forensic evidence or provide expert testimony, for example in cases of torture and violence, or digital attacks;
    • Where there is a likelihood of a politicised, unfair trial, trial-monitoring organisations can be enlisted to ensure fairness or expose a lack thereof;
    • Comparative legal research input provided by pro bono lawyers and member organisations from around the world can be used to bolster the arguments; and
    • Joint amicus briefs can raise the profile of a case and inform domestic courts on international standards. A coalition of member organisations could submit petitions to special human rights mechanisms where relevant.
  • Strengthening the ecosystem

    Increased coordination will make it easier to build joint response initiatives where necessary or to ensure a wider variety of support needs are met.

    Through the production of legal tools, such as “Know-Your-Rights” Guides, Toolkits and Handbooks, the LNJAR members will contribute to strengthening the media freedom space by increasing journalists’ and media outlets’ legal acumen and mitigating risk from future legal actions. These tools can cover pre-publication advice as well as practical tips for professionals when they are working in the field.

    Through its members, LNJAR can also provide lawyers with the tools they need to respond to emerging threats against the media and access United Nations and/or regional human rights mechanisms, for instance through trainings or peer learning initiatives.


To help our members assess whether they can offer support for your case, please let us know more about your situation by emailing We recommend only sharing basic details at this time such as:

  • How you would like LNJAR’s coordinator or member groups to communicate with you regarding your case (please provide the relevant contact information and your preferred channel of communication)
  • Brief information about your case, including whether you have legal representation or are working with an organisation
  • If you give permission for us to share the information you provide with LNJAR’s member groups.
  • If your situation is urgent or time sensitive and why.

Please do not send any confidential, privileged or sensitive information or documents. If you are not comfortable sharing any of the above information via email, note this and we will contact you via your preferred channel.

A LNJAR representative will follow up for more details.


When you contact us for legal support, we may disclose your personal information to the appropriate LNJAR member, which means their subsidiaries, their ultimate holding company and subsidiaries, as defined in section 1159 of the UK Companies Act 2006.

When contacting us, we recommend that you provide only basic information about your case, the type of support you are seeking, details on the best way for us to contact you and where applicable information on whether you are already working with a lawyer and/or organisation. Avoid sharing confidential or legally privileged information and/or documentation until you have been connected with the relevant LNJAR contact that will provide support or respond to your query.


Neither the Thomson Reuters Foundation nor the LNJAR members take responsibility or liability for any harm or loss that results from your failure to adhere to this requirement. Anyone contacting us is solely responsible for the contents of their communication. Once your information has been shared with the appropriate LNJAR member, it will be processed subject to their terms of service.