Lawyers in large law firms in Australia averaged 34.8 hours of pro bono legal work in 2016 — 9.7% more than in 2014, according to a new report by the Australian Pro Bono Centre. The Report on the Fifth National Pro Bono Survey: Australian firms with fifty or more lawyers collates and analyses data provided by 41 of the 58 large law firms in Australia, including 19 of 20 of the largest firms.
The National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference is taking place in Adelaide this week, due in large part to the advocacy of JusticeNet SA, South Australia’s principal pro bono clearing house and legal service which four months ago, was in danger of closing due to lack of funding. It is now advocating for a ‘pro bono plan’ to secure the future of coordinated pro bono in South Australia. Its Director Tim Graham tells the story.
RASSA is the only legal service in South Australia providing free migration assistance for fast track visa applicants. With no ongoing funding, it relies mostly on volunteer migration agents and interpreters to assist its clients. Most volunteers are local junior lawyers who are passionate about the work they do. Many of them are able to do this work because they hold a volunteer practising certificate — available in SA only since 1 July 2016.
The significant pro bono contribution facilitated by the Centre’s National Pro Bono PI Insurance Scheme continued in the six months to 31 December 2016, with 1047.7 pro bono hours undertaken.
The Centre invites suitable candidates to apply for its currently advertised positions of Head of Policy and Strategy (4 or 4.5 days a week), Communications and IT Coordinator (3 or 3.5 days a week) and Officer Administrator (4 mornings a week).
Thanks to the generous support of the Australian Government Solicitor, the Centre is delighted to welcome our new Secondee Policy and Project Officer, Julianne Tiglao. Julianne joins us for six months and was recruited by the AGS specifically for the secondment.
Links to stories of interest to the pro bono legal community that you may have missed. You can also stay up to date on the latest pro bono news by following the Centre’s Twitter feed @AusPBC.