Australian Pro Bono Centre

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Current News

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  • US: Too many lawyers? Not in D.C.
    27 November 2015 read more >
    Lower-income residents who don't qualify for free legal aid but can't afford lawyers suffer devastating consequences in court. One possible solution gaining momentum: "low-bono" legal services, where lawyers charge affordable fees to work for those who can't afford the District's average rate of $250 per hour but who make a little too much to qualify for legal aid. While pro-bono work is offered for free, the low-bono models provide adequate financial support for attorneys.
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  • CLC ethos permeates industry
    24 November 2015 read more >
    Almost 40 years after the first community legal centre in NSW was established, the CLC spirit has infiltrated other sectors of the industry as pioneers take on roles in different organisations ... Simon Moran, senior manager in financial services/credit enforcement at ASIC [stated] that the CLC "ethos has permeated through government and also pro bono work that firms undertake. CLCs have developed over time and its influences have gone well beyond just the clients that come in the door."
    2 of 20
  • 2015 European Pro Bono Awards [media release]
    23 November 2015 read more >
    On November 12 PILnet announced the recipients of this year's European Pro Bono Awards in a ceremony held as part of the 9th Annual European Pro Bono Forum. DLA Piper and its European Signature Project, together with the firm's NGO partners received the Exemplary Partnership in the Public Interest Award, and A&L Goodbody, alongside the Irish Refugee Council, received the newly established Award for Local Pro Bono Impact.
    3 of 20
  • SOUTH AFRICA: Legal aid offered at court
    19 November 2015 read more >
    All litigants who appear in the Western Cape High Court without legal representation will have access to top-class legal representation when the Motion Court Pro Bono project is launched. The Cape Bar Council will launch the project, which will mean an attorney and advocate will be available at the court ... the idea came after it was realised that many litigants go unrepresented and struggle with the complex legalities they face.
    4 of 20
  • Outstanding contributions from Law Award finalists [media release]
    16 November 2015 read more >
    Legal professionals providing pro bono support to those in need have been recognised as finalists in the [Australian Human Rights Commission's] 2015 Human Rights Awards... The finalists of the 2015 Law Award are the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation, Aboriginal Legal Service NSW / ACT Custody Notification Service, Genevieve Bolton, Luke Geary, Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS).
    5 of 20
  • Law students fight for the freedom of man accused of murdering Melbourne lawyer
    14 November 2015 read more >
    A lawyer gunned down outside his office. A mentally impaired former client who is found guilty of murder, but says he's innocent. Law students and an experienced barrister fighting to free him. It sounds like a Hollywood script. But it's been more graft than glamour for the Monash University students working on the case of John Glascott. Their efforts, alongside Barrister Alan Hands, culminated in an application for leave to appeal before the High Court earlier this year.
    6 of 20
  • Incredible Pro Bono Week stories show huge impact that lawyers can make
    12 November 2015 read more >
    Last week, lawyers up and down the country took time to celebrate the invaluable work done for free across the profession at 2015's National Pro Bono Week (NPBW). A legal service is provided pro bono, meaning 'public good', when it is done for free - and there are endless examples of good causes that lawyers can get involved in ... In 2014-2015, the total number of pro bono hours worked by private practitioners was 2.1m, the financial value of which is estimated at GBP 592m.
    7 of 20
  • High Court upholds but curtails Northern Territory's paperless arrest laws
    11 November 2015 read more >
    The High Court has found the NT's 'paperless arrest' laws valid, but imposed significant limitations on their operation ... "While we're disappointed that the court didn't rule that the laws were invalid, we're pleased that their operation will be significantly narrowed," said the [NAAJA Principal Legal Officer] ... the appellants ... represented on a pro bono basis by the Human Rights Law Centre, lawyers from Ashurst and barristers from the Victorian Bar.
    8 of 20
  • INDIA: Free legal aid should be a basis for picking judges: PM
    10 November 2015 read more >
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that his government was committed to justice for all which was important for the overall development of the country. "I believe in sabka saath, sabka vikas and with that there must be sabka nyay," the PM said, stressing that free legal aid to poor should be made a criterion in selection of judges. He emphasised that the dedication and commitment of administration in ensuring justice may open up new ways.
    9 of 20
  • Global Pro Bono Survey recognises Clayton Utz as Australian leader in Pro Bono [media release]
    9 November 2015 read more >
    Clayton Utz is 'first in class' in Pro Bono practice in Australia and one of the top ten Pro Bono firms globally, according to the latest Who's Who Legal Global Pro Bono Survey. The survey, now in its third year, recognises firms that stand out as examples of best practice in Pro Bono. Clayton Utz is recognised for a practice that "continues to go from strength to strength" with pro bono "[b]uy-in across the firm... one its greatest strengths."
    10 of 20
  • CLC finds new home through university
    10 November 2015 read more >
    The Refugee Advice and Casework Service suffered severe funding shortages after Federal Government funding cuts in April last year. To assist the centre, the University of New South Wales has offered it rent-free premises for the next five years in Sydney's Randwick. "This support from UNSW has come at a critical time," says RACS executive director, Tanya Jackson-Vaughan.
    11 of 20
  • School hires lawyer to help families deal with legal issues
    9 November 2015 read more >
    A suburban school is believed to have become the first to put a lawyer on staff. The pilot program helps students and their families deal with issues ranging from transport fines and tenancy disputes to family violence... The lawyer hired by the school, Vinnie Shin, is from the Western Community Legal Centre. His two-year placement at the school has been funded by donations from philanthropic organisations, and a $10,000 grant from law firm Slater and Gordon.
    12 of 20
  • NZ: Award-winning lawyer champions community service
    7 November 2015 read more >
    Growing up in a small farming town in the Manawatu NZ, Stacey Shortall's parents instilled an obligation to contribute to the community from a young age. "It was easy to follow," she said. "I strive to provide the same example to my own children." Shortall, a Wellington partner at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts has pioneered an impressive number of initiatives to help the lives of disadvantaged children.
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  • UK: Lawyers can't be expected to plug the gap in legal aid provision
    6 November 2015 read more >
    "By denying poor people justice, we are denying ourselves a functioning justice system." The government needs to face up to its responsibilities rather than rely on the goodwill of the legal profession, if access to justice for all is to be preserved. This week is National Pro Bono Week, when we celebrate the legal profession's provision of free legal services to those who otherwise cannot afford them.
    14 of 20
  • UK: Free legal advice has grown with aid cuts and court fees, says charity
    6 November 2015 read more >
    LawWorks offers free service to most vulnerable and has seen 55% increase in applications, but warns pro bono is no alternative to legal aid. Demand for legal advice and support has soared after cuts to legal aid and the introduction of court fees, according to the charity that coordinates solicitors' pro-bono clinics. A report by the organisation LawWorks... shows a 55% increase in applications over the past financial year.
    15 of 20
  • PAKISTAN: The unstoppable human rights lawyers
    5 November 2015 read more >
    I have always believed that one must be kind and helpful towards others, no matter how senior one's position is. Advocate Faisal Siddiqi, along with several other human rights lawyers serving the country, is one example of a person who has truly inspired me in this way... Mr Siddiqi specialises in pro-bono human rights litigation and has worked for landmark cases including the Baldia factory fire case, seeking justice and compensation for the 255 deceased workers of the factory.
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  • National firm ventures into new territory
    4 November 2015 read more >
    Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has opened its first office in the Northern Territory this week... "Many of our lawyers are familiar with the Territory, having last year won a landmark case on behalf of the traditional owners at Muckaty station near Tennant Creek, who were opposed to having a nuclear waste dump on their land." [Alison Barrett, Maurice Blackburn principal, said] Ms Barrett said Maurice Blackburn also has a strong commitment to running pro bono social justice matters in the public interest.
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  • Machado Joseph disease is devastating families in the Northern Territory's remote communities
    4 November 2015 read more >
    [After a change in a funding decision to support research] The [Machado Joseph Disease Foundation] was left with little choice other than to seek justice through the courts. Thanks to pro bono support from Gilbert + Tobin and the resulting landmark court challenge to Scullion's ability to override a previous ministerial direction, the Federal Court ruled on Wednesday Mr Scullion did not have the power to overturn the previous ministerial direction.
    18 of 20
  • UK: In-house lawyers "bashed up" by Gove must consider compulsory pro bono, says head of GC 100
    3 November 2015 read more >
    in-house lawyers, "bashed up" by justice secretary Michael Gove over the issue of pro bono, should have an "open debate" about making it compulsory, the chair of the GC100 Group has said. Graham Vinter, former general counsel of BG Group, said in-house lawyers should recognise that "there is a problem" over pro bono.
    19 of 20
  • UK: A day in the life of ... Sarah Slaughter (Caseworker, Bar Pro Bono Unit)
    3 November 2015 read more >
    What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis? "Caseworker. I process applications from litigants in person for assistance to the Bar Pro Bono Unit - that means a lot of administrative duties! I check the applications to ensure all relevant documentation has been enclosed, then arrange for a senior barrister to review the file and decide whether the charity is able to assist."
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Free volunteer practising certificates now available in five jurisdictions

12 November 2015

In response to the Centre’s continued advocacy, and in line with the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s Access to Justice Arrangements Inquiry Report, free volunteer practising certificates are now available in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales.


For this story and more see the November edition of Australian Pro Bono News.

read more >


Senior Policy Officer position (parental leave cover role)

2 November 2015

The Centre invites suitable candidates to apply for its currently advertised position of Senior Policy Officer (0.8 FTE, 4 days a week). The opportunity is a parental leave cover role for the period January – September 2016.

read more >


Pro bono and family violence

15 October 2015

In the latest edition of Australian Pro Bono News (Issue 103) we look at family violence, profile the work of Russell Kennedy in this area, and invite pro bono lawyers to tell us what they are doing to address unmet legal need for clients impacted by family violence.

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Mid-size firms lead pro bono growth

2 October 2015

Sixty percent of mid-size Australian law firms who are Target signatories reported more than 20% growth in the number of pro bono hours per lawyer for the 2014/2015 year, according to the Eighth Annual Performance Report on the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target, released today.

read more >


Law Reform Hub: Supporting the Voice of Community Advocates

10 September 2015

A new collaborative pro bono project, the Law Reform Hub, is supporting the voice of community organisations engaged in policy and law reform advocacy. Henry Davis York, who have already been joined by CBP Lawyers and Lander & Rogers, is looking for new partners among law firms and community legal organisations.


For this story and more see the September edition of Australian Pro Bono News.

read more >


Pro bono provisions strengthened by Victorian Government

10 August 2015

On 1 July 2015 Attorney-General Martin Pakula announced changes to the pro bono conditions in the new Victorian Government Legal Services Panel arrangements.


For this story and more see the August edition of Australian Pro Bono News.

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Centre launches new identity at National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference

1 July 2015

Australian Pro Bono Centre

As announced below, the National Pro Bono Resource Centre has now officially changed its name to the Australian Pro Bono Centre. The Centre’s new name and visual identity were launched by the Centre’s Chair, Phillip Cornwell, at the Welcome Drinks to the 2015 National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference.


For more information on the change and the Conference click here. You can also follow us on Twitter @AusPBC.

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We are now the Australian Pro Bono Centre

17 June 2015

The National Pro Bono Resource Centre announced today that it has changed its name to the Australian Pro Bono Centre.

A new website will be launched in September at Until then, please continue to visit this page ( to access information on:


  • providing pro bono assistance;
  • finding legal help; and
  • pro bono in general, including the Centre’s many publications.


read more >


Join the NPBRC team: The Centre is recruiting a new Policy Officer

3 June 2015

The Centre is seeking a Policy Officer (0.8 FTE, 4 days a week). Applications close 22 June 2015.

read more >


Registrations for the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference close Friday

3 June 2015

It is your last chance to register for the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference, to be held in Sydney on 18 - 19 June 2015.

read more >


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