The Commonwealth has just released their annual legal services expenditure report for 2016-2017 reporting total legal services expenditure of $825.51m (up 4.2%), and 502,619 hours of pro bono legal work done by reporting firms (down 9.5% on 2015-16 results).
The Commonwealth Government’s Legal Services Multi-Use List (LSMUL) of firms authorised to provide legal services to the Commonwealth ceased on 1 July 2018 and with it some of the conditions that formally encouraged firms to undertake pro bono legal work.
In early 2017, the Law Council of Australia embarked on a national, comprehensive review into the state of access to justice in Australia for people experiencing significant disadvantage.
We’re pleased to congratulate pro bono coordinators Rebecca Dominguez and Sara Lane on their much-deserved promotions.
Articles of interest to the pro bono community that have been published since our last edition. Click through to read any news article in full.
The Hon. Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC recently took up the post of Company Director and Chairman of Law Access WA, a legal pro bono referral service connecting some of the most vulnerable people from all over Western Australia, who cannot afford legal assistance, with lawyers willing to assist on a pro bono basis. We spoke to Mr. McCusker about his new role at Law Access WA and his experience of pro bono legal work.
Walking up to 23 km a day through the central Australian desert may seem an unusual way of supporting access to justice, but one pro bono project has done exactly that, proving along the way that thinking outside the square can deliver multiple benefits for the client group, the working relationship and the delivery of legal services.
On 22 August 2018, the Australian Pro Bono Centre (Centre) and Law Society of NSW hosted a forum to engage and support in-house corporate lawyers to do pro bono legal work.
The final report of the tenth anniversary review of the National Pro Bono Target (as it will now be called) was released last week concluding a year-long consultation process with members of the Target signatory community. Changes to the Target took effect on 1 July 2018.
With the turn of the financial year, we’re pleased to congratulate pro bono coordinators Hannah Rose and Stephen Somerville on their much-deserved promotions. Hannah has made partner at Sparke Helmore Lawyers, while Stephen has been elevated to Senior Associate, Pro Bono at Herbert Smith Freehills.
The “ground breaking” Improving Educational Outcomes for Children with Disability in Victoria report was launched last Friday. Here’s how pro bono legal assistance from law firm Colin Biggers & Paisley contributed to this important work.
Senior Australians are set to benefit from the 2018 Federal Budget, with $22 million dedicated towards protecting them from elder abuse and the official launch of new national peak body, Elder Abuse Action Australia. In this article, we give you the run-down on the new measures and highlight where pro bono legal work can make a meaningful contribution to improving access to justice in this space.
Have you met Nesha? She’s the Australia Pro Bono Associate at DLA Piper (full-time since January), and we asked her about how she sees her role and what pro bono looks like at her firm. Read the Q&A here.
Pro bono legal work isn’t just for law firms and barristers – in-house corporate counsel are increasingly active in this space and we were encouraged to hear from Nikki Pace from eBay about how she’s involved in partnering with Corrs Chambers Westgarth to provide pro bono legal assistance to not-for-profit ReachOut.
Rural Women’s Outreach Legal Service, Queensland provides young CLC lawyer Brenton Day opportunity to work alongside pro bono barrister Stephen Colditz. Read his story here.
National Pro Bono Day, falling on Tuesday 15 May this year, celebrated the role and contribution of pro bono legal work in Australia. Lawyers in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia participated in Walks for Justice, raising almost $200,000 towards the work of clearing houses in these states.
Gadens has a young and growing pro bono practice, a key component of which is a housing clinic with Moonee Valley Legal Service. This pro bono partnership began in 2016 when the firm’s Pro Bono Coordinator started talking with Moonee Valley about how they could work together.
With the recent announcement of the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards, we spoke with the winners of the pro bono category – Lauree Coci from Clayton Utz and David Frew from Norton Rose Fulbright. See our Q&A to find out about their experience doing pro bono legal work at their respective firms.
The pro bono ethic that is so central to the legal profession is beginning to take root in other professions. The Centre’s Head of Policy & Strategy, Gabriela Christian-Hare, spoke recently at a think tank organised by Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and Engineers Australia. Read EWB’s reflections following the event.