Improving access to the law has been Caveat’s mission from day one. That old saying, “The doors of court are open to everyone, just like the Ritz”, has irked me since my early days in traditional practice. It’s true, there is law and a justice system for those with means, and almost nothing for those without.
Commercially, and in this day and age, it shouldn’t even be a question of means. It costs almost nothing to research and communicate, and we no longer need the infrastructure to provide legal services that we did years ago. So the Caveat model has worked beautifully, cutting all that out and focusing on the legal work itself, without the frills.
Early on, we made a decision to focus on commercial legal work, which is the field we knew and were comfortable with. It was a good decision from a business perspective, but I’ve been left with a nagging feeling that whilst we’re improving access to legal services, we aren’t doing anything to make the law more accessible to some of the most vulnerable people in society, like refugees or victims of domestic abuse and gender-based violence. These groups are without access to information and resources, and often further abused by the systems set in place to protect them.
With the growing media attention to domestic violence and femicide, showing that it has now reached epidemic proportions, I could no longer look the other way. This year we launched The Warrior Project, a simple web-based portal with information and resources for victims of domestic abuse and gender-based violence (who we call ‘Warriors’). There are actually a number of great resources out there to assist people in these situations, but until now, no consolidated directory of resources. The site includes information on the rights of Warriors, a free legal helpline, links to the police and various counseling services and shelters. The social media sites provide a forum for sharing of stories and other support. We hope that The Warrior Project will plug that gap as the first step to a multi-pronged intervention to change this social problem and our society’s tolerance of it.
The response has been overwhelming – we’ve been grateful to be able to include a free legal helpline manned by a women-only team of lawyers from LawForAll, and to market the site to the 100,000 domestic workers on the SweepSouth platform and now to the general public. We’ve also received countless offers of help and funding, as well as a growing list of ambassadors keen to be involved in spreading the word.
We’re delighted to have the project off the ground and assisting those in need, and will continue to look for ways to tackle other aspects of this complex issue. Thank you to the Caveat team members who have assisted on the project, and to our clients who continue to support our endeavours.
Feel free to visit The Warrior Project, and please share and follow on social media.
Founder & CEO