History of Appleseed Mexico

As part of Appleseed´s strategy to expand its operations and fulfill its mission of achieving fairness and justice for all, the organization chose to expand its network beyond the U.S. in 2003, selecting Mexico as its first overseas presence.

When we began the Mexican initiative, many highly experienced, qualified local lawyers already active in projects with a social objective joined us. Subsequently, we created a local nonprofit organization: Fundación Appleseed México, A.C.

Our name comes directly from the urban story of Johnny Appleseed who spent his life planting seeds for the good of others, literally through the apple orchards he planted all over the U.S. and figuratively through his good works. Planting seeds for the good of others has become our organization´s mission.


1.- On April 25th 2012, UNICEF Mexico and its advisory board awarded Appleseed Mexico 1st place in Best Research UNICEF Prize 2012 in “Childhood and Adolescent Rights in Mexico” for our report ¨Children on the Border: Assessment, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Boys, Girls and Adolescents” published in 2011.

2.- In December 2010, our partners DLA Piper recieved 1st place from the Financial Times (FT.com), for “US Innovative Lawyers” for their participation with Applesed Mexico promoting the pro bono culture in Mexico. This award represented a significant recognition for the organization as more than 279 pro bono projects from 54 legal firms in the U.S. took part.

Events Held to Advance the Pro Bono Culture in Mexico August 2006: Forum ¨The Legal Culture of Altruistic Work in Mexico¨ – a presentation to the Mexican legal profession on the need to undertake pro bono work and the wide reaching social benefits that this can have.

January 2008: “The Creation of a Pro Bono Network in Mexico¨- an event signalling the official start up of our Mexico Pro Bono Network where we invited law firms and the legal profession in general to participate in this effort.

April 2009: “Creating a Pro Bono and Philanthropic Culture in Mexico¨ – a conference organized by the American University Washington College of Law with the objective of generating interest in binational social impact issues that could be developed through pro bono work.

March 2010: “How Pro Bono Legal Work Can Benefit Mexican Society” – a presentation of concrete results of Appleseed Mexico´s work and the impact of pro bono work in other countries.

October 2011: ¨Social Responsability of the Legal Profession¨ – a conference in Monterrey organized by the Mexican Bar Society, Monterrey Chapter.

September 2012: “Legal Support for Social Problems and the Development of Pro Bono Cases” – with Esther Lardent, President and CEO of the Pro Bono Institute in the U.S., and representatives from other NGOs, to present the legal needs of these kinds of organizations and how the Mexican legal community can provide support to them.

The Advancement of a Legal Culture in Universities In 2009 we began a project to advance a pro bono legal culture among final semester students from different universities throughout the country including the Law Faculty of the Universidad Panamericana (UP) where Appleseed Mexico gave the elective course “DLA Piper Chair and Fundación Appleseed” for 5 consecutive years.

The Escuela Libre de Derecho, the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), the Universidad Anáhuac, La Salle y the Universidad Bonaterra de Aguascalientes also participated in this project.

We are continuing this work and growing the Mexican Pro Bono Network among lawyers, legal firms, and universities.