The strength of a firm’s pro bono culture is one of the most important factors in determining the likelihood of the success of a law firm pro bono program or project. In the Centre’s 2014 National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey, the majority of respondents named management and partner support as a crucial factor in the success of their firm’s pro bono program.1 Conversely, lack of management and partner support was identified as the second greatest threat to a firm’s pro bono program.2
This chapter suggests strategies for promoting a pro bono culture, taking into account the various motivations of firms, and the individuals who work in them, for doing pro bono legal work. It also addresses some common concerns within firms about pro bono legal work. It is primarily focused on building a pro bono culture in mid to large sized law firms although many of the suggestions apply to small firms.
For more information see What Works, Part 3 Understanding your potential partner, which contains an in-depth discussion about what motivates pro bono legal work for different pro bono providers.
- 1.4.1 Why do pro bono legal work?
- 1.4.2 Strategies to promote a pro bono culture
- 1.4.3 Responding to the firm’s concerns
1.4.1 WHY DO PRO BONO LEGAL WORK?
Firms and their lawyers engage in pro bono legal work for various reasons. These include a sense of professional responsibility and the ability, either as an individual or as a firm, to enjoy the perceived benefits of the pro bono program. Successful and sustainable pro bono practices take into account these motives but have an overall focus on harnessing the moral and ethical principles that sit at the core of pro bono legal work. It is these motives that give a pro bono program authenticity, feed into the firm’s philosophical corporate identity and culture, attract more supporters, and ensure the program’s sustainability.
The primary reason for undertaking pro bono legal work is the individual professional obligation that each lawyer has to ensure equal access to justice given their privileged position as a member of the profession that has the exclusive right to practice law. This is often referred to as the ‘pro bono ethos’ and was eloquently summarised by the Honourable Murray Gleeson in a speech delivered to the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference in Melbourne on 11 August 2006:
The legal profession is a profession and not only a business; that its members have a duty to temper the pursuit of individual self-interest; and that they have a collective obligation to do their best to make legal services available to needy people. Collectively, this is a matter of duty, not generosity.3
This personal belief is often held by the lawyers who drive pro bono legal work within their firms.
For law firms there is also a solid business case for undertaking pro bono legal work and providing institutional law firm support for the work. The commercial benefits were summarised by the late Esther Lardent4 as:
- making the firm more attractive to high quality legal recruits who are increasingly attracted to firms that provide opportunities to undertake pro bono legal work;
- enhancing staff morale and loyalty, and greater retention of valued employees which also reduces recruitment costs;
- the development of professional skills and confidence in a supervised environment; and
- providing unique opportunities to market the firm, enhance its corporate image and thereby generate new business.5
Alongside the professional obligation of individual lawyers to undertake pro bono legal work is the obligation of firms to practise corporate citizenship. Accordingly, in many law firms the pro bono legal program is the core element of the firm’s broader corporate social responsibility (CSR) program (also known as a community engagement program). Other elements of this program may include providing non-legal assistance or financial support to charities, churches, schools, and other community organisations, including community legal organisations. The two programs will often be complementary, for example sharing strategic objectives such as the advancement of social justice or public policy. However the pro bono legal program should remain distinct for the purposes of defining, approving, crediting, recognising and reporting pro bono legal work.6
Nicolas Patrick, Global Head of Pro Bono and Corporate Responsibility at DLA Piper characterised the relationship between pro bono and CSR as follows:
A sophisticated approach to CSR for any law firm would usually lead a firm towards pro bono work as a core element of its community commitment. Whether motivated by a sense of corporate social responsibility or a sense of professional responsibility, pro bono must be at the centre of a law firm’s community investment strategy.
The commercial benefits of developing a strong pro bono culture are discussed in detail below.
Many lawyers find doing pro bono legal work professionally and personally satisfying. An innovative and successful pro bono program may help to attract high quality recruits and differentiate the firm from competitors in the employment market.
Many law firms report that students being interviewed for seasonal clerkships and graduate positions inquire about their firm’s pro bono programs and opportunities to do pro bono legal work including, for example, casework and secondment opportunities.
INCREASED JOB SATISFACTION AND RETENTION RATES
Providing pro bono opportunities can improve staff morale, and increase loyalty and job satisfaction. Lawyers often see pro bono legal work as a professional development opportunity, providing a chance to develop their skills by doing interesting work, as well as finding it satisfying to be able to work autonomously and take responsibility for a matter from beginning to end. Some pro bono legal work provides lawyers with much more direct client contact than their usual work and a feeling that they are making a real difference to a person’s life.
Anecdotally, many firms in Australia and abroad have spoken of improved morale and improved retention rates resulting from the firm’s pro bono program. Undertaking pro bono legal work also provides lawyers with an opportunity to engage and collaborate with other lawyers across the firm’s offices and occasionally with other law firms. Lawyers often report that the existence of a strong pro bono practice gives them a sense of pride in their workplace and a sense of shared values.
See What Works, Chapter 10 Large law firms (particularly the section on ‘What attracts law firm staff to participate in pro bono work’).
DEVELOPMENT OF PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE
Pro bono legal work allows lawyers and others to develop their legal and managerial skills. The perception that this occurs can be just as significant a motivating factor as their social justice commitment, particularly in the case of inexperienced lawyers.
Lawyers conducting pro bono matters often have greater control of a whole matter than they do when working on commercial matters. The lawyer therefore has the opportunity to develop strategy, make commercial decisions, and maintain an overview of the whole case. Some pro bono matters also offer opportunities for lawyers to develop their advocacy skills and skills in areas beyond their normal practice area. This applies equally to private practice lawyers and in-house lawyers.
Assisting pro bono clients may broaden a lawyer’s communication and interpersonal skills beyond those required to deal with commercial clients. Lawyers develop confidence as they assist more clients and extend their skills. This transfers positively to the way they approach their commercial work. Pro bono projects may also allow lawyers from different practice groups to work together as a team in creative and collaborative ways.
For more information about how participation in pro bono projects develops lawyers’ skills and confidence see What Works, 20.2 Clinics: Benefits.
REPUTATION AND MARKETING: CLIENT AND GOVERNMENT EXPECTATIONS
A firm’s pro bono program may have a positive impact on public perceptions of the firm and lawyers generally, and provide a point of difference in the market. Given Australia’s sophisticated pro bono sector, where most large law firms have established pro bono practices and where corporations are also developing in-house pro bono programs, there are increasing pro bono expectations from both commercial and government clients.
Potential clients may also seek to retain law firms that have also demonstrated a commitment to community involvement. Relationships with existing clients can be strengthened by a shared pro bono commitment, particularly if it can be translated into a collaborative pro bono project.
For more information about collaborative partnerships with corporate clients and case studies see What Works, Chapter 15 In-house/corporate lawyers. Partnering with a law firm that has an established pro bono program can allow an in-house corporate team to undertake pro bono legal work with the support of the firm’s infrastructure and administrative systems.
The Commonwealth and Victorian governments both include pro bono conditions in their tender arrangements for the purchase of legal services from the private profession.7 Given the positive impact this initiative has had on encouraging the growth of pro bono legal services in those jurisdictions, the Productivity Commission has recommended that other jurisdictions should consider adopting the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target within their own legal panel arrangements.8
1.4.2 STRATEGIES TO PROMOTE A PRO BONO CULTURE
This section discusses some general strategies for promoting a pro bono culture within a firm. Some are particularly relevant to the start-up phase of a program, and others to building, maintaining and developing the program over time. They all involve actions by the firm to demonstrate a clear commitment to pro bono.
The strategies are:
- gathering information to support the establishment and growth of a pro bono program;
- building leadership and management support and identifying pro bono champions;
- creating pro bono structures;
- setting clear objectives for the firm’s pro bono program and lawyers;
- communication from the managing partner about the importance of the program;
- developing a pro bono policy;
- crediting and recognising pro bono legal work;
- integrating pro bono legal work in the normal business activities of the firm; and
- publicising the firm’s pro bono commitment and success stories on the firm’s intranet, websites and social media platforms, and in other external and internal publications.
INITIAL INFORMATION AND SUPPORT
In firms without an established program or with a small ad hoc one, some initial steps to start building the program might include the following:
FINDING OUT WHAT OTHER FIRMS OF A SIMILAR SIZE OR POSITION ARE DOING
The collegiate nature of the pro bono sector as it has developed in Australia means that most pro bono coordinators are happy to assist others with less developed practices by offering advice and support either informally or via pro bono coordinator meetings and forums. For more information about other law firms’ pro bono programs, see the Centre’s National Law Firm Directory.9 In addition What Works contains many case studies of existing and past pro bono projects that can be used to spark ideas about possible opportunities and provide direction about helpful people to contact.
IDENTIFYING KEY SUPPORTERS WITHIN THE FIRM WHO CAN ASSIST IN PROMOTING PRO BONO, PARTICULARLY AT THE PARTNERSHIP LEVEL
As one large law firm pro bono coordinator has explained:
Building and continuing to encourage a culture that is supportive of pro bono within a firm is easier if strategically targeting the personal interests of partners. Ask partners about the causes they feel passionate about.10
It is also important, before taking a business case for a pro bono program to the partnership, to consult widely with key influencers or decision-makers in the firm in business units such as HR, finance, marketing and risk management. This will help to gain and sustain the partnership’s commitment to a program, as well as informing strategies for developing a firm-wide pro bono culture. The importance of leadership support is discussed in more detail in What Works, Chapter 4 Importance of developing a strong pro bono culture.
CONSULTING PEOPLE IN THE FIRM ABOUT THEIR INTERESTS, EXPERTISE AND CONTACTS
Consulting others in the firm, especially key stakeholders, about their interests, contacts and expertise helps gain support for the program as well as helping to determine the types of work or clients that the firm is positioned to take on. See further Chapter 1.5 Surveying interest.
ONGOING SUPPORT FROM SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND OTHER PARTNERS
Successful pro bono programs require consistent and unambiguous support from senior management. That support then needs to be communicated to all in the firm, for example, through a formal partnership resolution.
Partners can also demonstrate their support in other ways such as:
- being involved in drafting and/or settling the firm’s pro bono policy or otherwise actively endorsing the policy;
- serving on the pro bono committee;
- meeting to discuss pro bono activity;
- hands-on involvement in pro bono legal work; and
- encouraging lawyers in their group or department to undertake pro bono legal work and supporting and supervising them in that work.
STRUCTURES, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Pro bono committees build a pro bono culture in a firm by allowing a greater number and range of people to get involved in planning and overseeing the firm’s program and broadening their sense of ownership of it. Appointing pro bono committees, and creating positions such as pro bono partners and coordinators, also sends clear signals to individuals in the firm that the firm’s management is serious about pro bono as well as providing very practical mechanisms for administering the firm’s program.
In the Centre’s 2014 National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey 38 respondent firms (93%) reported that their firm had a pro bono coordinator (a person holding primary responsibility for pro bono legal coordination).11
For more information on pro bono committees and structures see Chapter 1.9 Coordinating the program.
Developing a pro bono policy and associated procedures indicates the firm’s commitment as well as providing a structure for the program. Wide involvement in the development of the policy is desirable and some commentators have particularly stressed the importance of ensuring that all partners have the opportunity to become involved in creating the policy. The firm should circulate the policy widely and encourage feedback about it.
SETTING CLEAR COMMITMENTS, OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTATIONS
Setting objectives for pro bono programs expresses the firm’s commitment to pro bono in concrete terms. The National Pro Bono Aspirational Target sets a voluntary target of at least 35 hours of pro bono legal work per lawyer per year, and has become a benchmark for the amount of pro bono legal work firms expect their lawyers to do. A number of firms set their own internal targets which are equal to or greater than 35 hours per lawyer per year. Most large firms have become signatories to the Target and some exceed the Target by many hours.12
Some firms make a commitment to achieve other objectives, such as making an impact in addressing particular areas of need with strong criteria for undertaking pro bono legal work, ‘focus areas’ or ‘signature projects’.
A firm’s policy could include targets for the firm and/or for departments or individuals. Pro bono could also be specifically included in employee job descriptions, and even included in key performance indicators as a prerequisite for promotions and bonuses. Incorporating a similar pro bono requirement in in-house (corporate and government) performance reviews remains a challenge.
MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION OF PRO BONO OBJECTIVES
To demonstrate the importance of its commitment to pro bono, a firm’s leadership should communicate the firm’s objectives for its pro bono program, both internally and externally, explaining why the firm considers pro bono important.
This communication should make the firm’s expectations of participation in pro bono clear, preferably encouraging participation by all the firm’s lawyers, from paralegals to partners. For example, one firm circulates a yearly honour roll of lawyers who have met the Target of at least 35 hours of pro bono legal work during the year.
CREDITING AND RECOGNISING PRO BONO LEGAL WORK
One of the most effective means of encouraging pro bono legal work is to credit and recognise it. The extent of a firm’s commitment to pro bono is reflected in its policy on crediting and recognising pro bono legal work for the purposes of productivity, evaluation, compensation and advancement within the firm. Lawyers are most likely to be engaged in the firm’s pro bono efforts and volunteer for pro bono opportunities if their pro bono legal work is recognised by the firm for all of these purposes.
The impact on pro bono culture of the absence of the crediting and recognising or pro bono legal work has been vividly described by one mid-sized law firm pro bono coordinator as follows:
While some partners have a strong personal commitment to pro bono, there are varying levels of support from firm management for pro bono work. Pro bono hours do not count towards billable targets and are discounted by 25% in the timesheet system. It can be seen as one of the many non-billable demands on lawyers. Pro bono opportunities have not been centrally advertised. There are some lawyers at the firm who are not interested in pro bono and would not necessarily welcome unsolicited emails about it.13
It is best practice for firms to provide full billable hour and financial credit (where applicable) for pro bono legal work, and for lawyers to be appraised on the work done in pro bono matters, as they would be for commercial matters. In other words, pro bono legal work should be treated in the same manner as commercial work in terms of crediting and recognition. It is difficult for a firm to build a firm-wide pro bono culture and a sustainable pro bono practice without providing lawyers with appropriate fee relief.
Pro bono leaders from established pro bono practices have identified the potential removal of full billable hour credit for pro bono legal work as being a serious threat to a pro bono practice. They have indicated that the likely result of removing full billable hour credit is a significant reduction in reported pro bono hours and an inability to achieve the Target. Given the many non-billable demands on lawyers, firms that do not recognise pro bono legal work by counting it towards billable targets may be limiting the firm’s pro bono contribution to the work done by a much smaller pool of lawyers who are willing to do it in their own time. In addition, removing full billable hour credit threatens the pro bono culture of a firm as it sends a message that the firm does not value pro bono legal work in the same way as it values commercial legal work.
The results of the Centre’s 2014 National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey supports this view, particularly for firms at the smaller end of the spectrum (with 50-200 FTE lawyers) where this treatment is most prevalent. Of these firms, 47.4 percent identified the fact that ‘pro bono hours do not count as billable hours or financial targets’ as a challenge for their pro bono programs.14
For more information about means of ensuring that lawyers are given both appropriate credit and recognition for their pro bono legal work see Chapter 1.11 Crediting and recognising pro bono legal work.
Other additional and important means of recognising and therefore encouraging pro bono legal work include:
- reporting internally on participation in pro bono, publicising the contributions made by participants and summarising matters undertaken and clients assisted;
- holding events such as annual lunches, dinners or other functions to celebrate the firm’s pro bono legal work and to thank participants;
- inviting participants in the program to give presentations at firm seminars;
- producing pro bono annual reports;
- giving priority to pro bono participants when deciding who should attend certain conferences and events; and
- formally acknowledging and rewarding pro bono effort.
INTEGRATION, PUBLICITY AND INVOLVEMENT
Integrating pro bono into the firm’s business and operational procedures, so that it becomes an expected part of life within the firm, helps to build a pro bono culture. Several respondents to the Centre’s 2014 National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey identified the integration of pro bono legal work into the operation of the firm as a crucial factor to the success of a firm’s pro bono program, particularly credit for pro bono hours in the calculation of performance.15
Full integration of pro bono into the firm’s operations requires developing a pro bono program where everyone in the firm who wishes to participate has the opportunity to do so. To ensure that all lawyers are aware of the possibilities for undertaking pro bono legal work within their practice areas, or for contributing in other ways, pro bono opportunities should be widely and regularly publicised within the firm.
It is also important to integrate the pro bono program into the firm’s key business units, including finance, human resources, corporate services, business development/marketing, corporate services and knowledge management.
Strategies that will work to integrate, publicise and encourage firm-wide involvement of staff in pro bono legal work may depend on the size and stage of development of the pro bono practice of the particular firm. Suggested strategies include:
- providing a variety of work to suit the interests and capabilities of a broad range of lawyers;
- ensuring that appropriate support and supervision is provided (for example, providing dedicated training programs);
- integrating pro bono into regular firm communications and events such as firm functions and partners’ retreats;
- including pro bono in induction programs for new staff (both lawyers and non-lawyers): for example, offering the opportunity to go on a one day pro bono secondment as a summer clerk;
- building pro bono into regular department or practice group meetings, so that it becomes a regular part of their reporting;
- organising lawyers, partners and others to give case presentations on pro bono matters at practice group or departmental meetings and provide information on how others can become involved;
- providing regular opportunities for people in the firm to express interest in being involved in the program: for example, through emails seeking volunteers for particular cases or projects, surveys of areas of interest and expertise, pro bono newsletters about work being carried out in the firm, or including this information on the firm’s intranet, regular newsletter or social media presence;
- appointing a pro bono ‘point’ partner in each department or group as the contact person for the pro bono coordinator or committee to talk about pro bono legal work in that department;
- approaching individuals and their supervising partners in relation to taking on particular matters or other work;
- advising the firm’s non-legal staff (including library, reception, secretarial and human resources staff) of the firm’s program and procedures for taking on pro bono (amongst other things, these people may be approached by others inquiring how they can become involved in the firm’s pro bono legal work);
- organising meetings of people in the firm with specialist pro bono interests, for example, lawyers working on refugee matters or discrimination matters, lawyers rostered on community advice clinics, and distributing updates on these topics; and
- organising lunchtime seminars on the firm’s pro bono legal work or particular areas of interest.
1.4.3 RESPONDING TO THE FIRM’S CONCERNS
Openly identifying and addressing concerns about the impact of pro bono legal work on the firm’s commercial practice will assist in building support for the pro bono practice.
Responses to some common concerns are discussed below, including:
- impact on financial productivity;
- impact on performance evaluation and advancement opportunities;
- lack of required skills and expertise, and associated training costs; and
- legal and commercial conflicts.
There may be a concern that pro bono legal work detracts from the firm’s financial productivity, given that pro bono hours do not result in a direct financial return to the firm. However pro bono legal work can result indirectly in positive financial return to the firm through the positive benefits discussed above including:
- enhancing the attractiveness of the firm for potential recruits, giving the firm a wider selection of quality candidates to choose from;
- improved staff morale and retention of staff;
- attracting paying clients to the firm;
- providing staff with new skills; and
- enhancing the firm’s reputation in the community.
Firms with leading pro bono practices have reported experiencing the benefits of pro bono legal work without any detrimental impact on the firm’s profitability. In fact, a positive relationship between pro bono and financial productivity can be seen amongst the high achieving and most productive lawyers in terms of commercial billable hours. Those are often also the lawyers engaging in pro bono legal work. For example one firm reported that in the 2014 financial year, the 20 lawyers who recorded the most pro bono hours completed on average 66.7 hours of pro bono legal work each while maintaining a 91.5 percent utilisation rate in their commercial practices.
Strategies for overcoming concerns about financial productivity include:
- clearly articulating to the firm the benefits of pro bono legal work;
- structuring and promoting the firm’s pro bono program in ways most likely to result in accrual of these benefits, including regular internal reporting and recognition of pro bono effort and recording time spent on pro bono legal work in accounts systems;
- incorporating evaluation strategies for pro bono programs that seek to measure the accrual of benefits to the firm;
- setting a clear hours-based target for pro bono legal work so that those with concerns can see that the firm’s contribution is made with a particular goal in mind and is undertaken according to agreed criteria;
- setting an operational budget for the pro bono program; and
- creating systems to anticipate, monitor and review time and resources spent on pro bono legal work to ensure the efficient allocation of resources, and ensure compliance with the operational budget.
CREDIT AND RECOGNITION
Some lawyers may be concerned that they will find it difficult to do pro bono legal work while keeping up with their commercial workload. They may also fear that it will be viewed negatively in relation to their reputation, remuneration or advancement in the firm.
Strategies that firms can employ to address these potential concerns include:
- having a clearly articulated and communicated commitment to pro bono including:
- a firm pro bono policy which encourages all firm staff to be involved in the program (and possibly states concrete expectations or requirements such as number of pro bono hours);
- visible senior partner involvement and support;
- an active pro bono committee; and
- well-publicised pro bono opportunities in the firm;
- providing full billable hour credit for pro bono legal work;
- ensuring that pro bono legal work is addressed in performance reviews and evaluations of lawyers (including partner self-assessments or other processes of review) and is considered in the criteria for promotions;
- setting an hours based pro bono target for the firm, and possibly groups or individuals within the firm; and
- employing additional means of recognising and rewarding individual’s and/or group’s pro bono efforts, such as through the firm’s intranet, newsletters, emails, social media presence, reports, seminars, awards and other events.
Providing appropriate credit and recognition for pro bono legal work can be particularly challenging in an in-house context where the team’s main obligation is furthering the corporation’s business.
Firms that do not demonstrate they have a culture which embraces or prioritises pro bono legal work or, even worse, firms which send signals that pro bono legal work is viewed negatively, are likely to find it difficult to encourage lawyers to participate in pro bono. For example, as a PBRO manager stated:
Some secondees have been told by partners in firms that are not supportive of pro bono that doing a secondment will be a black mark in their career. We recently lost a secondee this way.16
SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
Some firms and their lawyers may be concerned that they lack the skills and experience required to undertake pro bono legal work that is outside their usual area of practice.
Larger firms may actively recruit staff with experience in pro bono, public interest and poverty law who can supervise, train and support other lawyers as well as undertake pro bono legal work and/or coordinate the firm’s program. Leading pro bono practices have invested in significant training that enables their lawyers to provide pro bono assistance. For example, the lawyers from Gilbert + Tobin doing pro bono legal work at Refugee Advice and Casework Service were supported by the firm to undertake the training required to become registered as migration agents.
Some firms may also be reluctant to make the investment in time and resources to provide the training that would enable their lawyers to acquire such skills. While there are some pro bono matters involving areas of law that may be too complex to undertake without significant training and experience, there are other areas where firms can take smaller steps that would nevertheless enable their lawyers to participate in a wider range of pro bono legal work. These include:
- identifying and sourcing pro bono legal work that draws on the existing expertise, and is therefore suitable for different teams or divisions within the firm, then widely publicising these opportunities;
- organising training for lawyers, either in-house or external training, to undertake particular kinds of cases or discrete tasks, for example, to assist in domestic violence hearings or requesting review of fines; and
- partnering lawyers who wish to do pro bono legal work with mentors within the firm who have the expertise to help them take on the particular pro bono matter or project.
Collaborating with referral organisations, with other law firm pro bono coordinators and with the Australian Pro Bono Centre can help to identify unmet areas of law and lead to developing new service delivery models.
For more information see Chapter 1.14 Training and skills.
LEGAL AND COMMERCIAL CONFLICTS
Sometimes pro bono legal work may create a legal or commercial conflict with existing clients or prejudice the firm’s ability to obtain new commercial work. Strategies to address this issue include:
- before accepting any new pro bono matter, carrying out the usual conflict check that would normally be carried out for any other matter to avoid direct legal conflicts of interest;
- introducing systems to identify and manage potential or commercial conflicts as they arise on a case-by-case basis. One way of doing this is to form a commercial conflicts committee that can identify in advance areas that may cause problems with particular commercial clients and, where appropriate, contact the relevant client with a view to obtaining consent to proceed with the matter despite the potential conflict; and
- developing referral pathways to other firms with pro bono practices and PBROs, so that matters can easily be referred if a firm is unable to take on a matter because of a conflict.
Where a matter is perceived to constitute a commercial conflict, a firm may nonetheless decide to give some general advice about the issues to the client or referring organisation, or undertake research into particular areas relevant to the issues.
Where a conflict or potential conflict arises between a pro bono client and a government client which is a Commonwealth entity (other than certain types of Commonwealth entity) or Victorian government department or statutory body, the Commonwealth LSMUL and Victorian Panel arrangements provide mechanisms to address this. When selecting an LSMUL firm an agency cannot adversely discriminate against that firm if they have acted, or may act, pro bono for clients against the Commonwealth or its agencies.17 This situation will not apply if an actual conflict exists.18
Similarly, in Victoria the State encourages lawyers to act on a pro bono basis against the State in matters where there is no conflict of interest.19 In addition, as part of the Victorian Panel arrangements the Contract Manager within the Department of Justice acts as a ‘coordinator’ who can approve firms undertaking pro bono legal work where they are concerned about a potential conflict and can put in place measures to address a conflict of interest.20
For further information on conflicts, see Chapter 2.2 Risk management.
1 See National Pro Bono Resource Centre, Fourth National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey (Australian firms with fifty or more lawyers) — Final Report, December 2014, p 64, https://probonocentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/4th_National_Law_Firm_Pro_Bono_Survey_2014_Final_Report.pdf.
2 See National Pro Bono Resource Centre, above n 1, p 64. https://probonocentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/4th_National_Law_Firm_Pro_Bono_Survey_2014_Final_Report.pdf
4 E Lardent, Making the Business Case for Pro Bono, 2000, p 1, www2.nycbar.org/mp3/DoingWellByDoingGood/pbi_businesscase.pdf.
5 E Lardent, above n 4, pp 4-12 www2.nycbar.org/mp3/DoingWellByDoingGood/pbi_businesscase.pdf; see the Attorney-General’s Department website at www.ag.gov.au/LegalSystem/LegalServicesCoordination/Pages/Legalservicesmultiuselistandserviceproviders.aspx and the Centre’s website at probonocentre.org.au/provide-pro-bono/government-tender-arrangements/lsmul/.
6 See further J Corker, ‘Pro Bono and Corporate Social Responsibility: Reputation building, recruitment, retention and client relationships’. Law Society of New South Wales website at http://www.lawsociety.com.au/ForSolictors/CareerHub/YourCareer/Differentlegalcareers/Articles/ProBonoandCorporate SocialResponsibility/index.htm.
7 For more information about government tender schemes, see the Centre’s website at https://probonocentre.org.au/ provide-pro-bono/government-tender-arrangements/.
8 The Productivity Commission recommended that New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia should consider adopting the Target as part of their tender arrangements. See Productivity Commission, Access to Justice Arrangements Inquiry Report, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2014, p 838, www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/access-justice/report.
9 Australian Pro Bono Centre National Law Firm Directory at https://probonocentre.org.au/provide-pro-bono/law-firm/directory/.
10 Australian Pro Bono Centre, Pro Bono Partnerships and Models — A Practical Guide to What Works, 2nd edition, LexisNexis, Sydney, 2016, Chapter 4, https://probonocentre.org.au/information-on-pro-bono/our-publications/what-works/.
11 National Pro Bono Resource Centre, above n 1, p 49.https://probonocentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/4th_National_Law_Firm_Pro_Bono_Survey_2014_Final_Report.pdf
12 Australian Pro Bono Centre, Eighth Annual Performance Report on the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target, October 2015, p 9, https://probonocentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Eighth_Annual_Performance_Report_on_the_Aspirational_Target_2015.pdf.
13 Australian Pro Bono Centre, above n 10, Chapter 4 Promoting a pro bono culture. see the Victorian State Government website at www.procurement.vic.gov.au/State-Purchase-Contracts/Legal-Services-Panel and the Centre’s website at https://probonocentre.org.au/provide-pro-bono/government-tender-arrangements/victorian-government-legal-services-panel/.
14 National Pro Bono Resource Centre, above n 1, p 67. https://probonocentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/4th_National_Law_Firm_Pro_Bono_Survey_2014_Final_Report.pdf
15 National Pro Bono Resource Centre, above n 1, p 65. https://probonocentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/4th_National_Law_Firm_Pro_Bono_Survey_2014_Final_Report.pdf
16 Australian Pro Bono Centre, above n 10, 22.3 Secondments: Challenges/limitations https://probonocentre.org.au/information-on-pro-bono/our-publications/what-works/; see the Victorian State Government website at www.procurement.vic.gov.au/State-Purchase-Contracts/Legal-Services-Panel and the Centre’s website at https://probonocentre.org.au/provide-pro-bono/government-tender-arrangements/victorian-government-legal-services-panel/.
17 Legal Services Directions 2005 (Cth) cl 11.3.
18 Legal Services Directions 2005 (Cth) cl 11.4.
19 Deed of Standing Offer for the Provision of Legal Services (Vic) Pt C cll 22.1, 22.2, http://www.procurement.vic.gov.au/State-Purchase-Contracts/ Legal-Services-Panel.
20 Deed of Standing Offer for the Provision of Legal Services (Vic) Pt C cl 22.1.