A good indication of the maturity and sophistication of a firm’s pro bono practice is the percentage of its total number of lawyers undertaking pro bono legal work.
The 2014 Fourth National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey of Australian firms with fifty or more lawyers asked firms to report on the percentage of lawyers at their firm who performed at least one hour of pro bono legal work in the 2014 financial year.
The respondent firms were divided into groups according to its size. Although participation rates varied greatly among the respondents, the figure below represents the average participation rate within each group of firms:
- Eight Group A firms (450-1,000 FTE lawyers) recorded an average participation rate of 64%
- Thirteen Group B firms (201-449 FTE lawyers) recorded an average participation rate of 50%
- Seventeen Group C firms (50-200 FTE lawyers) recorded an average participation rate of 44%
Higher average participation rates were recorded by respondent firms who were signatories to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target (54%) compared to non-signatory firms (33%).
For a comprehensive breakdown of these figures, including by size of firm, please refer to page 28-29 and 70-72 of the Fourth National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey of Australian firms with fifty or more lawyers.
For more information on the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target please contact the Centre or visit our website (which includes a list of current signatories).