Updates from the Centre

Release of the Student Pro Bono Guide

The Australian Pro Bono Centre has released new guidance for students and early career lawyers interested in volunteering while at university and participating in pro bono work as they embark on legal careers.

Read the Guide here.

Release of Pro Bono Voco Issue 8

We are delighted to share the eighth 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 the second of two this year to mark the Centre’s 20th anniversary.

Read the issue here.

Publication of the 4th edition of the Australian Pro Bono Manual

The Australian Pro Bono Centre is pleased to announce the publication of the 4th edition of the Australian Pro Bono Manual.

In the 4th edition of the Manual, there are a number of new sections that reflect the changing face of pro bono work today, in addition to a new Foreword written by the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG.

View the updated Edition here.

Release of the FY22 Annual Impact Report

The Centre is delighted to share our 2021-2022 Annual Impact Report.

The report celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Centre as the national centre of leadership for #ProBono legal services. It is also a testament to the generosity of the legal profession during FY22 in again providing a record number of pro bono hours for the benefit of the most vulnerable in our communities.

You can find the report here.

All WA lawyers can now access the Centre’s Pro Bono Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme

Are you a WA lawyer interested in pro bono work, but don’t have PI insurance? Now you can access the Centre’s Pro Bono PI Insurance Scheme! The LPBWA has approved our Scheme, making it available to all WA lawyers (regardless of PC type). More details here.

15th Annual Target Report Released

FY2022 has been another year of pro bono growth, consolidating substantial increases over the previous two years. A record total of 645,509 hours of pro bono work was performed by the Centre’s Target signatories. Overall, 47.3% of Target signatories met their respective Targets in FY2022, up from 45.3% in FY2021.

Read the report here and read our media release 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.

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 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 the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, 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.

Share this: