Pro Bono Portal:
In-house Legal Teams and Lawyers
Australian in-house corporate and government legal teams and individual lawyers can make a significant contribution to pro bono legal services. In-house pro bono enables lawyers to give back to the community, enhances professional and personal development, and can bring long-term benefits for organisations which support pro bono work.
If you are a young lawyer working in the pro bono sector, consider joining Pro Bono Young Folk (ProBo YoFo). ProBo YoFo is organised by Ella Alexander. Read more here and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining the informal network.
National Pro Bono Target
On 1 July 2020 the Centre opened the National Pro Bono Target to in-house corporate and government legal team signatories to encourage and incentivise growth in in-house pro bono. By signing up to the Target, in-house legal signatories will commit to using their best endeavours to achieve at least 20 hours of pro bono legal services per in-house lawyer per year.
The Centre is encouraging as many in-house legal teams as possible to join as signatories. In-house legal teams that lead by signing up to the Target within the first 12 months (between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021) will be listed on the Target register as foundation in-house legal signatories.
Please see here for more information on the National Pro Bono Target.
How can I sign up?
You can sign up to the National Pro Bono Target as an in-house legal team or individual in-house lawyer online. All you need to do is:
- Read the Statement of Principles that is relevant to you
- Click on “I agree”
- Provide a few simple contact details
You will then be added to the Register of Target Signatories and sent a welcome email and certificate.
If you have any further questions please contact the Centre or refer to the FAQs on the Target or the FAQs on the Target for in-house corporate and government legal teams and lawyers.
Further information for in-house legal teams and individual in-house lawyers, specifically, can be found here.
Pro Bono Legal work: A guide for in-house corporate lawyers, prepared by the Australian Pro Bono Centre in association with the Law Society of NSW and the Association of Corporate Counsel, is a comprehensive guide and essential reference point for corporations looking to establish, manage or refine in-house pro bono legal programs, and individual corporate lawyers seeking involvement in pro bono legal work.
On 14 March 2019 the Centre launched Pro Bono Legal Work – A Guide for Government Lawyers at the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference in Canberra. The Guide is a central resource supporting the Centre’s goal to increase participation by government lawyers in pro bono legal work, and to provide practical guidance for government legal teams seeking to establish, refine or expand in-house pro bono legal programs.
To access other Centre resources, including our Client management and self care guide and the Australian Pro Bono Manual, please click here.
Sourcing Pro Bono Work
Sourcing Pro Bono Opportunities Initiative
To grow participation and excellence in pro bono, the Centre has launched the Sourcing Pro Bono Opportunities Initiative (the Sourcing Pro Bono Initiative) to equip pro bono providers with practical resources to find potential opportunities, form pro bono partnerships, and reduce barriers to pro bono participation.
CLCs and not-for-profits working with In-House teams
Justice Project: Pro Bono Tool
As part of the Sourcing Pro Bono Initiative, the Centre is creating a set of resources building on the Law Council of Australia’s Justice Project Final Report (the Justice Project Report), the Justice Project: Pro Bono Tool.
You can view key resources from the project below:
The complete set of resources for these client groups can be found here.
Other sources of pro bono legal work
There are a number of ways in which pro bono providers can source pro bono matters. These include:
- pro bono referral schemes and organisations
- community legal centres
- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Services
- independent not-for-profit legal organisations
- global opportunities
For more information on these sources of pro bono legal work, please click the links above.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Where an in-house lawyer or team partners with a pro bono referral scheme, organisation or community legal centre, it will likely be the case that the partner organisation’s professional indemnity insurance will cover the in-house team’s pro bono legal work.
For projects or programs that are not otherwise covered by professional indemnity insurance, the Centre operates the National Pro Bono Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme, which provides lawyers with free professional indemnity insurance for approved pro bono projects. Please visit the National Pro Bono Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme for more information on the availability of the Scheme in your jurisdiction and for examples of the projects that the Centre has previously approved.
Articles from the Centre
- Growing pro bono participation / Ethos Summer 2020 / Law Society of the ACT Journal
issue.com, 14 December 2020
- Growing pro bono participation by in-house corporate and government teams
Pro Bono Voco, Issue 4 – November 2020
- An increased role for pro bono in our post-COVID world
Gabriela Christian-Hare, 28 April 2020
- WIN-WIN-WIN: How in-house corporate lawyers can contribute to their career, their company and their community / Australian Corporate Lawyer Magazine / Association of Corporate Counsel
acc.com, Summer 2017
Q&A: Insights from corporate in-house counsel
For insights into how you can establish strong in-house pro bono programs, see our Q&A articles with in-house lawyers below.
Crown Solicitor’s Office