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The International Legal Foundation (ILF)

New York, United States
Joined August 2019

We fight to guarantee high-quality legal representation for everyone arrested or detained. Around the world, we provide criminal defense services & build sustainable, effective legal aid institutions.

Presence in: Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, State of Palestine, Tunisia, United States
Focus: Criminal Justice, Women's Rights

The ILF was founded to address the global crisis in access to justice.

Every day, millions of men, women, and children are held in jails around the world because they cannot afford a lawyer to defend them. Without legal representation, many face torture or other abuses, languish behind bars for years awaiting trial, or are wrongfully convicted.

The denial of access to legal aid, and a lack of qualified criminal defense lawyers, particularly impacts poor and otherwise marginalized communities. These vulnerable populations are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated.

Over the past two decades, the ILF has established a practical and effective approach to meet the urgent need for quality criminal defense in diverse legal systems.

From the ground up, we train and empower lawyers to be proactive advocates capable of providing high-quality criminal defense. Case by case, our lawyers transform the criminal justice system and strengthen the rule of law. To ensure large-scale and sustainable reform, we share expertise and build government support for the right to legal aid.

The ILF has defended over 70,000 people since its founding in 2001. 

We have country-level teams doing pioneering work every day in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, and Tunisia.

People Associated With This Organization

Alexus McNally

United States  
The International Legal Foundation (ILF)
Joined June 2022
Interests: Children's Rights, Community Organizing, Criminal Justice, Ethnic / Religious Minorities' Rights, Legal Aid & Public Interest Law, Policy Advocacy, Refugees & Migrant Rights, Traditional / Customary Justice, Women's Rights
Program Officer --International Legal Foundation, non-profit legal aid organization representing poor and marginalized people accused of crimes.

Ben Polk

United States  
The International Legal Foundation (ILF)
Joined January 2021
Interests: Criminal Justice
Global Policy Director, International Legal Foundation

Hal Tilemann

Australia  
The International Legal Foundation (ILF) (Unverified)
Joined January 2021
Interests: Criminal Justice
I am a legal aid lawyer passionate about access to justice.

Leah Conklin

United States  
The International Legal Foundation (ILF)
Joined June 2022
Interests: Children's Rights, Criminal Justice, Ethnic / Religious Minorities' Rights, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Legal Aid & Public Interest Law, Policy Advocacy, Refugees & Migrant Rights, Women's Rights
Leah is the advocacy & communications director at the International Legal Foundation where she drives efforts to strengthen legal aid access at the international, regional, and national levels. Previously, she led communications for campaigns to protect
workers’ rights, increase minimum wage, and hold corporations and politicians accountable to good governance standards. Leah earned her B.A. in Communications from Pace University and is currently an M.A. candidate in Refugee Protection and
Forced Migrations Studies with the University of London.

Shahinaz Abdelhamid

United States  
The International Legal Foundation (ILF)
Joined July 2022
Interests: Children's Rights, Community / Customary Land Rights, Ethnic / Religious Minorities' Rights, Gender-based violence, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Legal Aid & Public Interest Law, Peace-building & Transitional Justice, Policy Advocacy, Refugees & Migrant Rights, Traditional / Customary Justice, Women's Rights
I currently work at the International Legal Foundation as the Digital Communications Officer! I am looking to create global connections and gain insight on justice and human rights issues from around the world.

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