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.
Signatories to the Target have collectively reported almost 3.75 million hours of pro bono legal work in the 12 years since the Target’s commencement.
The Centre is opening 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.
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 or barristers’ chambers 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 2019, the Target covered over 14,000 lawyers. We encourage lawyers to sign up as individuals, even if their firm or chambers has already signed up.
The Centre is encouraging in-house legal teams and individual in-house lawyers to sign up from 1 July 2020.
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 over 160 law firms, including the 25 largest 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 (offline or online). All signatories’ responses are kept confidential.
The Centre then uses this data to produce an annual Performance Report on the Target. This report is de-identified and does not include information on the performance of individual signatories.