Legal Help for CLCs, ATSILS and Legal Aid
What pro bono assistance is available?
Pro bono legal services can be used to support the work of community legal centres (CLCs), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) and Legal Aid by:
- Allowing you to refer complex matters which require different expertise or capacity
- Providing extra resources for your matter (for example, research, expertise, or representation from a barrister)
- Providing opportunities for partnership on specific projects or on a long-term basis
- Providing other expertise, training and resources.
According to the 2017 National Census of CLCs published by Community Legal Centres Australia (formerly the National Association of Community Legal Centres):
- Of the 124 CLCs that responded to a question about working with pro bono partners, 49% (60 CLCs) reported having a pro bono partnership.
- 83, 253 hours of pro bono assistance was provided to these centres and their clients over the 2016/17 financial year, including 66, 989 hours for direct service delivery to clients.
The 3 biggest areas of pro bono assistance in 2016/17 were (in order):
- Pro bono lawyers providing direct service delivery to clients (71.4% or 45 CLCs)
- Pro bono lawyers giving advice or assistance to the centre (60.3% or 38 CLCs), and
- Specialist pro bono lawyers advising centre lawyers in areas of expertise for use in client matters (49.2% or 31 CLCs).
Where can I find more information?
For general information about how pro bono can assist your organisation:
- refer to our publication Pro Bono Partnerships and Models: A Practical Guide to What Works for practical tips on creating successful partnerships between CLCs and law firms, with examples
- contact the Australian Pro Bono Centre, or
- contact a pro bono referral scheme or organisation in your state or territory.
You can also find more detailed information and links below.
Please note that the Australian Pro Bono Centre is an independent centre of expertise on pro bono legal services in Australia and does not provide legal assistance or operate a referral scheme.
I am looking for pro bono legal assistance for MY CLIENT
- You can refer clients to our Links to Legal Help page.
- A Pro Bono Referral Scheme or Organisation may be able to assist you to refer your client to appropriate pro bono assistance.
- Some law firms have well-established pro bono practices that may be willing to accept direct referrals. The National Law Firm Directory contains contact details and other information about the pro bono practices of Australian law firms that you can search by area of law (once you have registered for access to the Directory).
- The ATSILS Pro Bono Guide provides information specifically for ATSILS on pro bono service providers, how to obtain pro bono assistance, and the range of services that might be available.
- If your client is an organisation, see our legal help page for Not-for-Profit Organisations.
I am looking for help with FINDING SUITABLE VOLUNTEERS
- You can advertise volunteer (and paid) opportunities at your organisation on the Centre’s Social Justice Opportunities website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. This is a free service.
Page last updated March 2021.