Updates from the Centre

The Centre is hiring a Project and Policy Officer!

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Policy and Project Officer to join the Centre’s team. This role would suit a junior lawyer or policy/project officer with a strong interest in social justice who relishes a diverse set of responsibilities.

For full details, see here.

Release of Student Pro Bono Questions

The Centre is excited to launch a set of five Student Pro Bono Questions. When asked during an interview for a clerkship or graduate role, these questions will help law students learn more about the pro bono opportunities offered by prospective employers and better distinguish between the pro bono programs of different organisations.

To make an informed decision this clerkship season, while demonstrating an active interest in a prospective employer’s work, use the Student Pro Bono Questions found here.

Release of Pro Bono Voco Issue 7

We are delighted to share the seventh edition of the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s online magazine, Pro Bono Voco.

Pro Bono Voco is a biannual publication for the private, public and community sectors with inspiration and insights to grow impactful pro bono legal work. This edition is one of two this year to mark the Centre’s 20th anniversary.

Read the issue here.

Release of 20 Stories of Change

The Australian Pro Bono Centre is marking 20 years of operation in 2022. To celebrate this occasion, we have gathered here 20 stories from the Australian pro bono community, illustrating the power of pro bono to transform lives.

To read the stories of change, click here.

New guidance to assist companies to engage with law firms on the question of pro bono

The Australian Pro Bono Centre has released its latest guidance aimed at growing participation by law firms in pro bono legal work. The ‘Template Pro Bono Questions for Use by Corporations in the Engagement of Law Firms’ is targeted at companies and other businesses which use a tender process for selecting and engaging private law firms.

To view the full media release and the template questions, click here.

National Pro Bono Day - Walk for Justice 2022

17 May 2022 is National Pro Bono Day! On this day, a number of Walks for Justice will be held across Australia to raise funds for local pro bono referral organisations.

Details of this year’s Walks for Justice can be found here.

Call for 20 Stories Of Change

Have you been involved in a pro bono project over the last 20 years where the impact of your work changed the path of an individual, community organisation or social enterprise? If so, we want to celebrate it! Submissions are due by 5pm AEST on Thursday 14 April 2022.

For more information, see here.

A call to arms: Why we need to lift our pro bono contribution here in SA

Most South Australian lawyers love a bit of interstate rivalry, particularly when it comes to comparing our commute times and the quality of our wines with those on offer in the eastern states. However, when it comes to our collective pro bono contribution, we are falling well behind, writes Alice Rolls. Full article here.

Australia’s Pro Bono Efforts In Response to the Afghanistan Crisis

The Afghanistan crisis has created an immense and ongoing need for legal assistance.  In this article, Jacob Elliott (Centre volunteer) explores the impact of pro bono actors who are at the forefront of the response. Read the full story here.

New Pro Bono Voco released

We have released the sixth edition of the Centre’s online magazine, Pro Bono Voco. This biannual publication is for the private, public and community sectors, offering inspiration and insights to grow impactful pro bono legal work. It features pro bono projects, profiles leaders within the community, and provides updates on key developments. Click here to read the latest issue.

Podcast: Not Just ‘Feel Good’ Law

The Centre’s CEO recently interviewed Peter Seidel of Arnold Bloch Liebler. We have created an inspiring podcast called “Not Just ‘Feel Good’ Law”. Listen in to learn about integrating pro bono as part of a business offering and be reminded why we do pro bono work.  Listen here.

Diversity in pro bono roles

Nicolas Patrick, Partner, Responsible Business at DLA Piper has recently published a paper on diversity in pro bono. It reflects on the issues of diversity and under-representation amongst the current cohort of professional pro bono lawyers in the UK. It helps identify issues and challenges, raise the level of consciousness, start a conversation, engage with stakeholders and promote good practices and new ideas. Read more here.

Launch of new Climate Action Portal

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Global Pro Bono Climate Action Portal! Developed in collaboration with global NGO PILnet, the Portal features a wide range of case studies from around the world that illustrate the variety of ways lawyers are using their expertise pro bono to tackle the climate crisis. We’re hoping it will inspire and inform the global legal profession. 

View the Portal here.

2020-2021 Annual Impact Report available

The Centre is delighted to share our FY21 Annual Impact Report.

The report reflects the important role of the Centre in continuing to grow participation and excellence in pro bono. It is also a testament to the generosity of the legal profession during FY2021 in providing a record number of pro bono hours for the benefit of the most vulnerable in our communities.

You can find the report here.

Welcome Alice Rolls

We are delighted to welcome Alice Rolls as our new Head of Policy and Strategy. Alice spent nearly two decades as a commercial litigator, most recently as Principal of law firm, LK Law. Along with colleagues at LK Law and the University of Adelaide, Alice established and was a Managing Lawyer at The Accessible Justice Project, an innovative not-for-profit legal practice in Adelaide. Alice is joining the Centre team from Adelaide.

Learn more here.

14th Annual Target Report Released

It’s been a record-breaking year for pro bono! Our new Target report reveals that Australian lawyers reported a phenomenal 641,966 hours of pro bono work in FY2021. On average, Target signatories completed 39.7 pro bono hours per lawyer – an exceptional result in light of the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the report here and read our media release here.

10th APBVC & A2J Exchange

The 10APBVC & A2J Exchange will be held in a virtual manner on 23 – 26 September 2021. The theme is “Celebrating a Decade of Collaboratively Strengthening Justice & Rule of Law”. Registration is open here.

The Centre’s CEO will be presenting in the session: Promoting Environmental and Climate Justice Through Pro Bono And Public Interest Law.

The Centre’s former CEO will be presenting in the session: Pro Bono Reporting Mechanisms and Policies.

Return on Action Report

In conjunction with PwC, Atlassian recently released their second ‘Return on Action’ report. The research shows 80% of workers say companies should be taking action to address society’s problems and that workplace expectations have shifted significantly in the last year. A copy of the Australian report can be found here.

New tool launched

During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, the Centre is launching its Justice Project Pro Bono Tool – People Who Experience Family Violence. It is a directory of organisations across Australia that provide legal assistance to people who experience family violence. You can access the new tool here.

National Pro Bono Day 2021

Tuesday 18 May was National Pro Bono Day. It is a great opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the pro bono work undertaken by the Australian legal profession. The Centre asked nine young pro bono leaders across Australia to share their most rewarding moments and explain why they dedicate their time to pro bono. Click here to read each inspiring story.

Boost to legal assistance funding

The 2021 Federal Budget is providing for the largest boost to legal assistance funding in over a decade, with a focus on: women and children experiencing family violence, people with mental health conditions, survivors of child sexual assault, young people and children. Read more here: Attorney-General’s Media Release, Attorney-General’s Department Factsheet, Law Council of Australia Media Release and CLCs Australia Media Release.

Justice Connect’s pro bono response to floods

Justice Connect is accepting EOIs from law firms who can provide free legal help to people, small businesses and community organisations affected by the recent NSW floods if demand exceeds its current capacity.

See more here.

2021 Walks for Justice

On National Pro Bono Day (Tuesday 18 May 2021), Walks for Justice will be held simultaneously across the country to raise funds for local pro bono referral/access to justice organisations. You can donate or sign up to walk.

Click here for more details.

Centre at NSW Law Careers Fair

We’ll be at the NSW Law Careers Fair this Friday 26 March! Pop in to see us at the Australian Pro Bono Centre stall to learn more about social justice and pro bono opportunities for students + grads.

You can register for the event here.

2021 Pro Bono Video Catch-Up Series, Session 1: First Nations

On 18 February 2021 the Centre co-hosted the first session of the 2021 Pro Bono Video Catch-Up Series. We had a great turnout of more than 40 participants. You will find a summary of the session, key points of action and links to resources here.

What does 2021 have in store for the pro bono sector?

The Centre’s CEO was interviewed by Dan Creasey on KWM’s People & Purpose Podcast, involving conversations with leaders in the social impact sector who are working to create positive social change and thinking about global justice challenges. The interview is entitled, ‘What does 2021 have in store for the pro bono sector?‘. Listen here.

7th National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey Report Released

The Centre has released a Report on the 7th National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey. The report shows that while areas for development remain, the impressive quantity and range of pro bono work being undertaken by large Australian firms is cause for optimism for the future of the sector.

Click here to read the highlights, and click here to read the full report.

In-house National Pro Bono Target Signatories

The Centre opened the National Pro Bono Target to in-house legal teams and lawyers in July 2020, and we are delighted to report we’ve had an impressive 16 signatories join in that short period of time. The inaugural roundtable meeting for this group was held on Wednesday 10 February 2021. Learn more about becoming an In-house Target Signatory here.

AusLSA 2020 Legal Sector Sustainability Update Report

The Centre congratulates the Australian Legal Sector Alliance on the recent launch of its 2020 Legal Sector Sustainability Update ReportThe report was launched by Richard Jennings on 1 December 2020. The Centre is pleased to assist AusLSA with the development of the pro bono section of the report. The Centre is excited to report that 81% of AusLSA members are now Target signatories.

ACCA National Conference

The Centre’s CEO was pleased to participate in the ACCA National Conference with the theme, “More Than A Lawyer”. She facilitated the Future of Pro Bono for In-house Lawyers session with fellow panellists Elizabeth Carroll and Jon Downes. 95% of attendees answering a poll during the session noted that they would like to be involved in or do more pro bono work. However, over half said impediments to involvement included a lack of senior leadership support for pro bono, or being unsure of how to get started. The panellists discussed the opening of the National Pro Bono Target to in-house teams and drew attention to the Centre’s resources for in-house counsel, all of which are available here via the Centre’s In-house Pro Bono Portal.

PILnet 2020 Global Forum – Recordings

In October over 800 participants from over 70 countries attended the PILnet 2020 Global Forum. The Centre’s CEO, Gabriela Christian-Hare, was delighted to facilitate the “Examples of Legal Professionals Tackling Climate Change” session and to present in the “Pro Bono in Asia” Clearinghouse Lab session. Our Senior Policy & Project Officer, Sally Embelton, was pleased to produce a booth recording on the Centre’s Pro Bono Guide to the Climate Crisis.

You can view all recorded sessions here.

Centre speaks at Tehran and Erbil webinar

On 10 November 2020 the Centre’s CEO was invited to speak at a webinar in Tehran and Erbil celebrating UNESCO World Science Day for Peace and Development entitled ‘Reformulating the Role of Scientists & Lawyers in Achieving Just Peace and Sustainable Development’. The webinar was arranged by the Roya Institute for Global Justice. Gabriela’s speech was on “Climate justice and how lawyers across the globe can make a difference”. The event also marked the launch of the Persian version of the Centre’s ‘Pro Bono Guide to the Climate Crisis’, available here.

The Importance of Inculcating the ‘Pro Bono Ethos’ in Law Students, and the Opportunities to Do It Better

Former Centre CEO, John Corker, has written a compelling article that argues the importance of instilling a pro bono ethos in law students on their journey from law school to lawyer, suggesting ways that we might do this better.

Read more here.

Inaugural Asia Pro Bono Virtual Conference & Access to Justice Exchange

The Centre was delighted to recently participate in the Inaugural Asia Pro Bono Virtual Conference & Access to Justice Exchange (September 24-28, 2020). The theme for this year’s conference was Pro Bono in a Transitioning Environment. The Centre’s Head of Policy and Strategy facilitated the session on The Transitioning Environment of In-House Counsel Pro Bono.

Read more here and watch a recording of the session here.

Why lawyers have stepped up on pro bono

PODCAST: The Centre CEO and Head of Policy & Strategy recently joined Jerome Doraisamy from Lawyers Weekly to discuss the extraordinary volume of pro bono work that lawyers have completed this past year, the impact of the bushfire season and then COVID-19 upon pro bono, and how such community work will become easier for lawyers to undertake in the ‘new normal’.

Click here to hear the podcast.

Pro Bono Guide for Individual Lawyers

The Centre has published a Pro Bono Guide for Individual Lawyers which lists a wide range of exciting opportunities available to lawyers wishing to donate pro bono time in a personal capacity, including at community legal centres, independent not-for-profit legal services, through State and Territory referral organisations and via global networks.

Read the Lawyers Weekly article here.

Target signatories report record number of pro bono hours

Despite unprecedented challenges in the last financial year the Australian legal profession has demonstrated a growing dedication to pro bono legal work, according to the 13th Annual Performance Report on the National Pro Bono Target released by the Centre today. Australian lawyers reported a record number of 551,427.5 pro bono hours and an average of 36.4 hours of pro bono legal services per lawyer in 2020 financial year.

Read the media release here and the Lawyers Weekly article here.

Pro Bono Guide to the Climate Crisis

The Centre has released a new guide illustrating the many different ways that lawyers can undertake pro bono work to tackle the global climate crisis.

Click here to read the guide, which includes descriptions of 15 different pro bono activities, a range of compelling case studies from around the world, and advice on how to get started.

Growing Participation & Excellence in In-house Pro Bono

On Tuesday 11 August 2020, the Centre (along with the In-House Corporate Lawyers Committee of the Law Society of NSW) held a virtual event for in-house corporate and government lawyers to discuss and celebrate the opening of the National Pro Bono Target to in-house lawyers.

You can read more about the event here.

Announcing New Project - Justice Project: Pro Bono Tool

In Homelessness Prevention Week, the Australian Pro Bono Centre, with the endorsement of the Law Council of Australia, is pleased to announce the launch of its Justice Project: Pro Bono Tool, a new project in the Centre’s Sourcing Pro Bono Opportunities Initiative.

To view the Justice Project: Pro Bono Tool, click here.

To find out more about the whole initiative, click here.

National Pro Bono Target opens to in-house legal teams

On 1 July 2020 the Centre opened the National Pro Bono Target to in-house corporate and government legal team signatories to encourage and incentivise growth in in-house pro bono.

Read more in the Media Release and Lawyers Weekly article.

Pro Bono Voco Issue 3: June 2020

We are delighted to share the third edition of the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s online biannual publication, Pro Bono Voco. This edition features pro bono projects, profiles leaders within the community and provides updates on key developments.
Read the full publication here.

2020 Virtual Walks for Justice

On National Pro Bono Day (19 May 2020) Virtual Walks for Justice were held in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. These walks raised vital funds for access to justice organisations.

Read more here.

National Pro Bono Day 2020

On National Pro Bono Day we recognise the adaptability of the legal profession to help address unmet legal need in response to the bushfires and global pandemic. The Centre has highlighted a range of ways in which firms are innovating their service delivery, collaborating and sharing resources with each other to help meet the growing demand for legal services.

Read more here.

University of Queensland - School of Law interview on The Witness Box

University of Queensland Law students are conducting interviews in a weekly series called, The Witness Box. The Centre’s CEO, Gabriela Christian-Hare, recently talked about her career path, useful skills, adaptability and work-life harmony.

Click here to listen.

Centre speaks at Sydney University careers event

The Centre was delighted to speak to Sydney University law students at their Community Legal Centre Table Talk event on 29 April 2020.

You can read more about it here.

An increased role for pro bono in our post-COVID world

Scaling pro bono will be critical to ensuring the private sector fulfils its role in creating a more equitable and sustainable world post-COVID.

Read more here.

Western Australia: new pro bono requirements for government panel law firms

The Australian Pro Bono Centre welcomes new pro bono requirements that will apply to all law firms providing legal services to Western Australian government departments and agencies from 1 July 2020.

Read more here.

Centre appears before the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System

On Friday 13 March 2020, the Centre appeared before the Committee in relation to its Inquiry into Australia’s Family Law System. It was an excellent opportunity for the Centre to advocate for more funding for legal assistance services.

You can read more here.

How should the pro bono community respond to COVID-19?

As the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, the pro bono community is rapidly determining how it prepares and responds.

The Centre has developed some guidance on how pro bono lawyers can respond constructively to the crisis, which you can access here.

New report reveals a significant increase in pro bono partners

The Australian Pro Bono Centre is pleased to have collaborated on a global study into the nature and prevalence of pro bono partner roles in firms, along with DLA Piper, the US Pro Bono Institute and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The report is a helpful resource for law firms and pro bono lawyers seeking promotion.

To read the report, click here.

Finding new ways to undertake pro bono legal work

PODCAST: Centre CEO Gabriela Christian-Hare joined Jerome Doraisamy from Lawyers Weekly to discuss how Australian lawyers compare globally in the number of pro bono hours undertaken, why it’s necessary to allocate time to pro bono work on a regular basis and the most crucial factors to the success of a firm’s pro bono program.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Issue 2 of Pro Bono Voco now available!

We are delighted to share the second edition of the Centre’s online biannual publication, Pro Bono Voco, for you to read and enjoy over the holidays. Pro Bono Voco highlights the tremendous work of the Australian pro bono community. We feature pro bono projects, profile leaders within the community, and provide updates on key developments.

Click here to view the full publication.

Growing areas of legal need and sector trends with Nic Patrick

PODCAST: Centre CEO Gabriela Christian-Hare sat down with Nic Patrick, Head of Pro Bono & Responsible Business at international law firm DLA Piper, on 10 December 2019 to discuss his predictions on growing areas of legal need and trend predictions for the legal sector and how they impact on pro bono.

Listen to the podcast here

Forum for In-house Corporate Lawyers

The Centre held Pro Bono Legal Work: A Forum for In-house Corporate Lawyers, kindly hosted by Ashurst, on 25 November. The forum aimed to inspire involvement in pro bono by in-house corporate lawyers, provide practical assistance, and share information and resources to develop and strengthen in-house pro bono practice.

Read more about the forum here.

Enabling Change at the 2019 PILnet Global Forum

The Centre was delighted to participate in the 2019 PILnet Global Forum in Singapore between 11-13 November 2019. The theme for this year’s forum was Engaging lawyers, Empowering Innovation, Enabling Change.

Read more about the forum here.

Annual Report 2018-2019

The Centre’s Annual Report for the 2019 financial year is now available! The report highlights the Centre’s work throughout FY2019. You can read the report here.

Our warmest thanks to all who generously gave their time to support the Centre’s work in FY2019.

New from the Centre

Podcast: Not Just ‘Feel Good’ Law

The Centre’s CEO recently interviewed Peter Seidel of Arnold Bloch Liebler. We have created an inspiring podcast called “Not Just ‘Feel Good’ Law”. Listen in to learn about integrating pro bono as part of a business offering and be reminded why we do pro bono work.  Listen here.

Diversity in pro bono roles

Nicolas Patrick, Partner, Responsible Business at DLA Piper has recently published a paper on diversity in pro bono. It reflects on the issues of diversity and under-representation amongst the current cohort of professional pro bono lawyers in the UK. It helps identify issues and challenges, raise the level of consciousness, start a conversation, engage with stakeholders and promote good practices and new ideas. Read more here.

FY21 Annual Impact Report available

The Centre is delighted to share our FY21 Annual Impact Report.

The report reflects the important role of the Centre in continuing to grow participation and excellence in pro bono. It is also a testament to the generosity of the legal profession during FY2021 in providing a record number of pro bono hours for the benefit of the most vulnerable in our communities.

You can find the report here.

Welcome Alice Rolls

We are delighted to welcome Alice Rolls as our new Head of Policy and Strategy. Alice spent nearly two decades as a commercial litigator, most recently as Principal of law firm, LK Law. Along with colleagues at LK Law and the University of Adelaide, Alice established and was a Managing Lawyer at The Accessible Justice Project, an innovative not-for-profit legal practice in Adelaide. Alice is joining the Centre team from Adelaide.

Learn more here.

Launch of new Climate Action Portal

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Global Pro Bono Climate Action Portal! Developed in collaboration with global NGO PILnet, the Portal features a wide range of case studies from around the world that illustrate the variety of ways lawyers are using their expertise pro bono to tackle the climate crisis. We’re hoping it will inspire and inform the global legal profession. 

View the Portal here.

14th Annual Target Report Released

It’s been a record-breaking year for pro bono! Our new Target report reveals that Australian lawyers reported a phenomenal 641,966 hours of pro bono work in FY2021. On average, Target signatories completed 39.7 pro bono hours per lawyer – an exceptional result in light of the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the report here and read our media release here.

Podcasts & Videos

Listen to the most recent podcasts from the Centre below and find more of our podcasts and videos here.

Not Just ‘Feel Good’ Law: Interview with Peter Seidel

Australian Pro Bono Network webinar: Pandemic drives record pro bono in FY21

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the various lands on which we work throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to the Elders – past, present and emerging – and the youth who are working towards a brighter tomorrow.

The Centre’s Indigenous Strategy, “Looking Back, Moving Forward”, can be accessed here.


The Australian Pro Bono Centre is grateful for the funding support it receives from the governments of the Commonwealth and all states and territories, and the in-kind support it receives from Australian Government Solicitor, private firms, volunteers and the Faculty of Law & Justice at UNSW Sydney, which includes the use of the Faculty’s premises and facilities and support from student interns.


The Australian Pro Bono Centre is registered as a charity with the ACNC.

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