Ploughshare Interviews PILPG Founder

International law provides powerful tools for ending wars, writing

constitutions and prosecuting war criminals, tools that are often

outside the reach of those who need them most—warring parties

or embattled countries emerging from years of protracted conflict.

Leaving the State Department after working on some

of the toughest legal challenges of the early s, attorney Paul

Williams was determined to see that such parties had access

to the highest quality legal advice available, and for free.

Together with a former State Department colleague who shared

his passion for the rule of law, Williams founded the Public

International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), a global

pro-bono law firm that marshals the services of some  volunteer

lawyers from major international law firms, and deploys

them around the globe. In February, Ploughshares Fund

made its third grant to PILPG for its Peace Fellows program,

which enables outstanding young international lawyers to provide

these services. Paul Williams spoke with Ploughshares Fund’s

Deborah Bain from his office at the American University

in Washington DC, where he holds the Rebecca Grazier

Professorship in Law and International Relations.