Chapman University Global Law Brigades: Panama

What is a Brigade?

Brigades defn groups of passionate volunteers mobilizing toward positive social change.

“A transformative experience -- change lives, change your perspective.”
Catherine Markman, Co-Founder of Global Brigades

Panama is the current focus of Law Brigades, where since 2007, more than 500 student volunteers have traveled to implement Brigades’ sustainable development programming. Law Brigades projects are selected through a comprehensive RFP (request for proposal) process where their needs are aligned to passionate GLB student clubs to conduct a brigade.

Important Statistics about our Community Partners:
• Typical family income is less than $2 a day
• Average level of education is approximately
5th grade
• Areas of high biodiversity at risk of
environmental degradation
• In remote areas with little awareness of legal

A one week Law Brigade provides volunteers the opportunity to get hands on legal experience working on cases with meaningful impact. Examples of past projects include: business licensing, microenterprise legal support, and environmental degradation prevention. Prior to travel, volunteers learn about the anticipated economic, political, social and cultural challenges. The first day in Panama the volunteers will receive GLB legal empowerment training along with an overview of the legislative environment in Panama. The remainder of the week will be spent in the field with the rural community, conducting workshops, and shadowing Panamanian lawyers to implement their legal solutions. The Brigades are a true exchange where the volunteers and communities benefit equally from a meaningful experience full of personal and professional growth.