Whether you are a small, mid or large sized firm or practice you can use your expertise to make a valuable pro bono contribution. No matter what stage of development your pro bono practice is at, the Australian Pro Bono Centre can provide you with expert support.
We are happy to speak with you on a confidential basis about your pro bono program, and can help you:
to develop a plan for your pro bono program;
make contacts and build partnerships within the pro bono and legal assistance sector.
If you are interested in speaking with the Centre about any of these issues, please contact us to speak to the Centre’s CEO, John Corker, or other Centre staff.
The Centre also has a large number of practical resources, guides and programs for those looking for information on:
If you are interested in establishing a pro bono practice, the Australian Pro Bono Manual is a useful starting point. The Manual is a ‘how to’ and ‘best practice’ guide on establishing and operating a pro bono program within a law firm or practice, answers many frequently asked questions, and contains commentary and useful precedents.
The third edition of the Manual was published in October 2016.
“What Works” also includes detailed case studies that illustrate the benefits, challenges and features of effective projects, and of the different models of providing pro bono legal assistance. The second edition was published in October 2016.
The National Pro Bono Aspirational Target
In 2007 the Centre established the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target of 35 hours of pro bono legal work per lawyer per year. Both law firms and practices as well as individual solicitors and barristers can become signatories to the Target. The Target is a well-respected and widely adopted benchmark for measuring pro bono contributions in Australia.
If you would like to become a signatory to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target please click here.
Many firms find that Pro Bono Referral Schemes and Organisations are the best way to source pro bono matters, and these can be found in every state and territory in Australia. Some are independent organisations working on a membership model, and others are schemes managed by law societies which only require signing up to a list. For more information contact the Pro Bono Referral Scheme or Organisation in your state or territory.
You can also provide information about your pro bono practice on the Centre’s password-protected National Law Firm Directory. The Directory is an interactive guide to the pro bono practices of Australian law firms. An interactive table allows users to find firms by area of law who may be willing to provide pro bono assistance and provides contact details and a profile of that firm.
The Directory can only be accessed by staff from CLCs, Legal Aid, ATSILS, pro bono referral schemes & organisations, other not-for-profit organisations and other firms listed on the Directory.
Pro bono requirements in government tender arrangements