The significant pro bono contribution facilitated by the Centre’s National Pro Bono PI Insurance Scheme (the Scheme) continued in the six months to 31 December 2016.
From 1 July to 31 December 2016, 114 lawyers and 17 paralegals undertook 69 pro bono projects under the Scheme. They reported performing a total of 1047.7 hours of pro bono legal work during this 6-month period.
This period saw a 58% increase in the number of lawyers participating in the Scheme, when compared to the 72 lawyers in the preceding 6 months to 30 June 2016. Whilst there has been a slight decrease in the number of pro bono hours in this reporting period, the overall hours have remained relatively steady. Of note is the significant contribution from the Korean Community Legal Advice Service, which provided a total of 176 hours of pro bono legal advice during this period.
The Centre established the Scheme in 2009 to encourage in-house, corporate, government and career-break lawyers to undertake pro bono legal work. The Scheme removes one of the key barriers for lawyers who wish to engage in pro bono legal work — the need for professional indemnity insurance to cover them for any civil claims arising from their pro bono legal work.
The Scheme is currently available to lawyers and paralegals in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. The Centre continues to advocate for the expansion of the Scheme to other jurisdictions. The Centre wishes to thank the State and Territory governments, and Law Societies in the jurisdictions in which the Scheme is approved, for the steps they have taken to facilitate access to justice.
If you are interested in applying for coverage for a potential pro bono project, please see the National Pro Bono PI Insurance Scheme page on our website, where you’ll also find a full list of the pro bono projects currently insured under the Scheme.