Click here to view the Definition and Guidance Notes on reporting ‘pro bono legal services’.
What is the Target?
The National Pro Bono Target is a voluntary and aspirational target of at least 35 hours of pro bono legal services per lawyer per year that can be signed up to by:
incorporated legal practices;
individual law firm solicitors;
individual barristers; and
The National Pro Bono Target for in-house corporate and government lawyers is a voluntary and aspirational target of at least 20 hours of pro bono legal services per lawyer per year that can be signed up to by:
The Target amount of 35 hours for law firms, incorporated legal practices, individual solicitors, individual barristers and barristers’ chambers was chosen in consultation with the legal profession. It reflects what many lawyers in these practices are already doing and represents the minimum number of hours of pro bono legal services that all lawyers should aspire to undertake.
The Centre opened the Target on 1 July 2020 to in-house legal signatories who will be committing to using their best endeavours to achieve at least 20 hours of pro bono legal services per in-house lawyer per year. The Centre, in consultation with the In-house Pro Bono Steering Committee, has decided to take a staged approach and will review whether this hourly target should be raised to be aligned with other legal professionals in the future. The 20-hour benchmark reflects what many in-house lawyers are already doing and takes into consideration the unique context for in-house legal professionals.
Signatories to the Target have collectively reported over 5.5 million hours of pro bono legal work since the Target commenced in 2007.
How can I sign up?
You can sign up to the National Pro Bono Target as a law firm, incorporated legal practice, individual solicitor, individual barrister,barristers’ chambers, in-house legal team or individual in-house lawyer quickly and easily online. All you need to do is:
While other community service is important and applauded, the Target is focused on encouraging lawyers to undertake the legal work that only lawyers are qualified to do and which directly remove barriers to accessing justice.
You can also refer to the Guidance Notes for more detail on what can be counted.
Who has already signed up?
Many law firms, individual solicitors and barristers have already signed up and meet or achieve the Target each year. As at 30 June 2022, the Target covered over 17,400 lawyers.
Since 1 July 2020, the Centre has also welcomed in-house legal teams and individual in-house lawyers to sign up.
Target signatories also have the opportunity to display the Target logo in their email signatures, promotional material and on their websites, to identify that they are part of a growing community of 280 signatories, including the 25 largest law firms in Australia.
This makes them easily identifiable as Target signatories and highlights their commitment to access to justice for society’s most vulnerable.
All Target signatories are required to report on their performance against the Target each financial year, by completing a brief form provided by the Centre (online). All signatories’ responses are kept confidential.
Templates of the Target Reporting Form can be viewed here (please do not print and complete, these are templates only):