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.
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.
We asked Lauren Miller, General Counsel at Carnival Australia, what pro bono projects her team is engaged in, how their pro bono work is supported by the company, and what the benefits of pro bono for individual lawyers and the company more broadly are. See what she had to say in this short video.
“Our pro bono work is a natural extension of our organisation’s commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion. The idea that shared value is created through contribution to our communities is fundamental to how we operate. In some ways, our pro bono work is simply another expression of that principle. The shared value for our organisation and for the organisations we support through pro bono work is mutually reinforcing.”
In-house lawyers are a significant part of the legal landscape. Our conversations with corporate counsel have revealed some common themes. When it comes to pro bono, in-house corporate lawyers and their employers can both meaningfully contribute to, and greatly benefit from, doing pro bono. Gabriela Christian-Hare, our Head of Strategy & Policy, shares some of these insights in this article.
One hundred and fifteen lawyers and fifteen paralegals insured under the National PI Insurance Scheme performed a staggering total of 2,244.7 pro bono hours between 1 January to 30 June 2017, more than double the hours reported in the previous 6-month period ending 31 December 2016.
A new guide to support in-house corporate legal teams to do pro bono legal work was launched at an event held at the Law Society of New South Wales on 3 August 2017 as part of a new joint initiative by the Australian Pro Bono Centre, the Law Society of NSW and the Association of Corporate Council.