20 April 2022

Meet the Dead Lawyers Society

[Photo: Stas Yurchenko, Graty]

Today we are moved to present a brand-new startup that is carrying out an amazing labour of recognition and visibility for the war against Russia. The initiative is a reference to the movie Dead Poets Society, conformed by over 8,000 Ukrainian lawyers that is constantly spreading and fighting nonstop for their values. 

For the past 5 years that have been mostly peaceful, they spent the time writing on media, hosting events and building a new platform for legal discussion concerning the insights of the legal business inside and outside Ukraine. However, after the invasion many lawyers decided to stop their legal practice to join the armed forces or help the army in any other way. 

Of course, since the members of the Dead Lawyers Society just became soldiers some weeks ago, they are not well equipped for the war and that is why they are raising donations (click the link in case you want to help donating). This way the society is providing drones, thermal imagers, medicines, cloths, flashlights, sleeping bags, etc. No weapons as those require licensing, but they can guarantee clear and transparent reports. Furthermore, Dima Gadomsky is managing the project, he is partner at Axon Partners, Aspen Institute fellow and Ambassador for Ukraine of the European Legaltech Association. 

The collective defends the following values: 

FREEDOM, and what it invokes in the forms of objectivity, independence, impartiality and self-regulation; 

IMPACT, in the senses of recognition and acceptance by the legal community, as well as at the level of authority, searching for determination of the criteria for market evaluation; 

COMMUNITY, where members are able to change, support, share and inspire others that are like-minded and provide a safe environment; 

DEVELOPMENT, to accelerate and encourage real change in the legal sphere and to determine the criteria for these changes; 

QUALITY, the content is meant to be exciting and expressive, promises integrity and emphasis on the higher standards of journalism and transparency.

Before the russian invasion, their day-to-day activities were financed by the community itself and by the following top-tier law firms: Vasil Kisil and Partners, Integrites, Asters, Axon Partners, Moris, and Engarde. They continue the donations, but they only cover the salaries of the newsroom. So now they require extra donations or, if not possible, you can also help this project by sharing information in social media, aiding lawyers evacuated from Ukraine to find a temporary job in law firms or other companies, Outsource some paid legal work to any Ukrainian law firm you know, or commit to giving a loan to the Ukrainian law firm you know well if it will require financial aid to save the team.

Here are some board members whose stories you can get to know by clicking on the links:

Nick Yurlov, Counsel at Marchenko Partners, Jessup Ukraine active community member and 2016 National Champion, ex-EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development).

Svitlana Romanova, Head of Legal Department at Metinvest.

Oleksandr Melnyk, a lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights.

Kate Mischenko, CIPP/E, Lead of Data protection practice at Avitar.

Vitaly Chemerys, a litigation lawyer at the Ministry of Justice.

Svitlana Panaiotidi, Co-owner of Zviropolis, ex-Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, ex-Commissioner of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.

Dmytro Foremny, a legal tech entrepreneur, partner of the 3x Capital fund, ex-manager of the business accelerator for legal startups HiiL Justice Accelerator and Head of Lin:go.

Den Ivanov, Head of Expert Group at Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine.

Volodymyr Petrakovsky, lecturer at the Law Faculty of the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”.

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