Issue 125: February 2018
Q&A with Peter Livers, Slattery Thompson
Continuing our series of Q&A interviews with Target Signatories, this month we catch up with a NSW lawyer who was nominated for the 2017 Law Society President’s Award. The Award is presented annually at the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Justice Awards to an individual solicitor for pro bono work done through the Law Society of NSW Pro Bono Scheme.
Peter Livers is principal of Slattery Thompson, a small firm in Sydney’s inner south-west and a Target Foundation Signatory.
Q: Congratulations on your nomination for the Law Society President’s Award. How long have you belonged to the Law Society Pro Bono Scheme and what prompted you to join?
A: I joined the Scheme 15-20 years ago after I participated on a pro bono basis in the Bondi Beach squatters case, pursuing rights for the homeless people who were sleeping in the Bondi Pavilion.
Q: Does your pro bono work through the Scheme focus on particular areas of law or practice?
A: Crime, domestic violence, wills and family law — these are areas of law I am familiar with.
Q: What are your criteria for taking on a pro bono matter?
A: The client is a needy person and the matter is urgent.
Q: Can you provide one or two examples of the impact that your work has on the lives of your clients?
A: (1) Assisting a grandmother by preparing an affidavit so that she could see her grandchild.
(2) Assisting a disappointed litigant by telephone to file a notice of intention to file on the last day to appeal a failed District Court personal injuries claim.
Q: What challenges are associated with your pro bono practice?
A: Defining the parameters of the pro bono assignment.
Q: What advice do you have for lawyers in small firms who are considering doing more pro bono legal work?
A: You get a great feeling of pleasure when the pro bono client appreciates even a small amount of legal help.
STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:
AUSTRALIAN PRO BONO NEWS