Shell and Clifford Chance collaborate to support and inspire future lawyers at Njala University

On 19 March 2019, a team from Shell and Clifford Chance spent the afternoon indexing and packing 120 boxes of legal books on behalf of the ILBF.

After hearing about the ILBF from Ellen Lake (Senior Associate at Clifford Chance and member of the ILBF operating committee) and Melissa Brown (Senior Associate at Clifford Chance), the team of volunteers packed hundreds of donated books relating to a variety of topics, including numerous sets of law reports dating back from as early as 1871.

The books were packed for shipping to Njala University in Sierra Leone. As well as packing the books, the team also wrote cards with messages of encouragement and hid them inside the books―the idea being that law students would come across them in the future and hopefully feel inspired by the words written by the volunteers.

Njala University (established in 1964) is launching a law school at its campus in Bo and the ILBF is assisting to kit out the law library. The law school, the third to be started in Sierra Leone, is a wonderful development for the country―until now, all law students had to study in Freetown or in Makeni, the only cities with a law school.

The opening of this new law school is a huge step forwards for the rule of law in Sierra Leone, because more prospective students have the chance to study law and go onto have a career in the field.

Working in the UK, it is easy to forget how difficult it can be for legal professionals and students in some other countries to access the materials they need to practice law. The ILBF book packing day with Clifford Chance provided a great opportunity for members of the Shell Legal team to make a very practical contribution towards supporting the rule of law, which we see as an important part of our pro bono activities.

Barbara Blum, Associate General Counsel, Chemicals Acting Head of Legal, United Kingdom, Shell

We were delighted to partner with Shell on this book packing day for the ILBF. Schemes like this are fundamentally important to help promote and protect the rule of law. Clifford Chance are thrilled to be part of this wonderful programme allowing people from around the world to gain greater access to the materials they need to further develop their legal systems.”

Carla Lewis, Senior Associate, Clifford Chance

This was one of a number of Shell-Clifford Chance book packing collaborations and the organisers hope to schedule another event in the near future.