In a world where billions live outside the protection of the law, Namati is dedicated to putting the law in people’s hands. We’re building a global movement of grassroots legal advocates who work with communities to advance justice. These advocates are fighting on the front lines to ensure that people can protect their land, access essential services, and take part in the decisions that govern their lives.
The UN estimates that 4 billion people around the world live outside the protection of the law. For these people the law is an abstraction, or a threat, but not something they can use to exercise their basic rights. Lawyers meanwhile are costly, and focused on formal court channels that are impractical for most people.
Namati champions a method– grassroots legal advocates, or “community paralegals”—for bridging the gap between the law and real life. These paralegals are trained in basic law and in skills like mediation, organizing, education, and advocacy. They form a dynamic, creative frontline that can engage formal and traditional institutions alike.
While lawyers often treat their clients as victims requiring an expert service– “I will solve this problem for you”– community paralegals can focus on legal empowerment. “We will solve this together, and when we’re done you will be in a stronger position to tackle problems like these in the future.” Just as primary health workers are connected to doctors and hospitals, community paralegals should be connected to lawyers and the possibility of litigation or high-level advocacy if frontline methods fail.
Namati partners with civil society organizations and governments to develop, implement, and evaluate legal empowerment strategies that address five urgent global challenges:
Namati convenes an international community of practitioners committed to advancing justice. Members learn from each other and collaborate across borders. Together, we are building a stronger global movement for legal empowerment.
We collect data rigorously on every case, and use that information to advocate for large-scale reforms. We aim to show that not only can community paralegals help bring good laws to life, their work can also lead to changes in the law.
Read more about how we work and where we’re headed.
Scroll through our Cultural Values to learn more about the way we operate.