EL041: Using Technology to Spread Justice, with Gerald Abila
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“It´s up to us lawyers to get the law out there…we believe that everyone has the right to have this sort of information”– Gerald Abila
Gerald Abila is the founder and managing director of the award winning Barefoot Law – a non-profit organization which uses Facebook, Skype, Twitter, SMS, radio and TV to give the people of Uganda free access to legal information. As Gerald puts it, “How would a person know to look for a lawyer if they didn’t know they’ve been wronged?” And this is the essence of Barefoot law. Over 59% of Uganda´s population uses mobile phones, so Gerald decided to use this fact and try to reach out to people who are in need of legal services. Barefoot Law now has over 16,000 online followers, an android app and is proud to be still growing and helping the people of Uganda fight for their justice and legal rights.
“The future of the law for me is in technology” – Gerald Abila
The internet is a powerful thing. By just having access to it, you automatically have a card to the biggest library in the world. Gerald Abila is using the internet to change the lives of thousands of Ugandans by giving them free access to legal advice. His not-for-profit organization, Barefoot Law uses social networks, SMS and Skype calls give the people of Uganda the information that they need, to be able to understand when they have a legal case and to help them fight it. The legal system in Uganda is very slow and costly, and thanks to Barefoot Law, thousands of people are getting the justice that they deserve.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
If you prefer to watch the discussion in action, here is my recorded interview with Gerald Abila (please refresh your browser a few times if it isn’t loaded properly the first time):
In this interview you’ll learn:
- 02´25” – About Gerald, the Ugandan legal system and why he started Barefoot Law
- 09´00” – How Barefoot Law works and how they use social media to reach out to people
- 14´55” – The reaction of traditional law firms to Barefoot Law
- 19´00” – Why the future of law for Gerald is in technology
- 20´40” – Gerald´s story
- 27´57” – Why attorneys should stop hoarding information and start sharing it
- 34´33” – Some of the challenges faced by Gerald and Barefoot Law
- 44´40” – A piece of advice from Gerald
- 45´57” – Two inspiring quotes
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