Experts to team up with pro bono lawyers

ExpertsDirect Pro Bono is a new service just launched for lawyers that aims to put them in touch with experts in a myriad of fields who are prepared to offer their services for free or at low cost in matters where the lawyer is acting on a pro bono basis.

The Justice Project Final Report – A Pro Bono Perspective

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.

Colin Biggers & Paisley trek the outback to raise funds for Artists in the Black

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.

MEDIA RELEASE: Review of community legal centres recognises importance of resourcing to leverage pro bono support

Wednesday 1 August 2018


The Australian Pro Bono Centre welcomes the announcement today by the NSW Government of new funding for Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in NSW based on the recommendations of the 2017 Review of NSW Community Legal Centre Services led by Mr Alan Cameron AO (Review Report) also released today.

The Centre particularly welcomes the findings in the Review Report that:

  • CLCs need adequate resources to harness, co-ordinate and supervise pro bono and volunteer support;
  • students, volunteers and pro bono partnerships make a significant contribution to the CLC sector; and
  • this multiplies the value of government funding and increases the benefits of legal assistance services experienced by individuals and the community.

“For CLCs to take full advantage of the available pro bono support, they often need to provide coordination, training, supervision and other support. This cost is often underestimated and unrecognised,” said John Corker, CEO of the Australian Pro Bono Centre.

The Centre’s work has shown that good coordination and training are vital components of a successful pro bono relationship, whether with an individual volunteer or a law firm. There can be a considerable cost associated with managing such relationships, particularly for larger projects.

“With many firms being reliant on their ability to partner with CLCs to deliver their pro bono services, it’s important to have a formal recognition of the cost to firms and CLCs of establishing and maintaining these partnerships,” Mr Corker said.

Unmet legal need

Importantly the Review Report highlights gaps in service delivery, particularly in rural, regional and remote areas of NSW, and a need for more legal assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, children and young people, and people with disabilities.

According to the Review Report the areas of law seen as most pressing in terms of unmet need are in the areas of child care and protection, housing, credit and debt, domestic violence and consumer law.



Media contact

For further information or comment please contact John Corker on 02 9385 7371 or 0402474628.

Download this media release as a PDF document.

Using pro bono to champion the rights of children living with disability

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.

Protecting Older Australians From Elder Abuse: what the 2018 Federal Budget provides and what pro bono can contribute

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.