Australian Pro Bono Centre

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Current News

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  • Firm pioneers pro bono crowdsourcing
    27 August 2015 read more >
    Crowdfunding may be the future of improved access to justice, after Salvos Legal because the first firm to use crowdfunding on a pro bono case. On a highly compelling, public interest case, the lawyers at Salvos Legal have tapped into the humanitarian side of the community. Using crowdfunding, the firm has raised money to help a Bangladeshi man obtain an Australian visa and remain with his wife, after his attempt to prove his genuine refugee status unrepresented, failed.
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  • CANADA: Lawyer out $44K in dispute over pro bono retainer
    24 August 2015 read more >
    To anyone who may have had doubts, a Superior Court judge has issued a clear statement on the difference between pro bono and contingency-fee arrangements in a case that underlines the need for written retainer agreements. In a decision earlier this month, Justice Mario Faieta ruled in favour of a man who took his former lawyer to court after he presented him with numerous invoices for what the client said he thought was pro bono work.
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  • US: Lifetime Achiever: Esther Lardent, Pro Bono Institute
    24 August 2015 read more >
    Esther Lardent, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Pro Bono Institute, can be very persuasive. Just ask U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has spoken at nearly all of PBI's yearly meetings since the late 1990s, no matter how busy her schedule. Ginsburg happens to be a big fan of PBI's efforts to give poor and disadvantaged communities better access to legal services. But Lardent's lobbying hasn't hurt.
    3 of 20
  • INDIA: Free legal aid camp at MSU's faculty of law
    16 August 2015 read more >
    M S University's faculty of law for the first time will organize a free legal aid camp on August 23. Expert advocates and experienced teachers of the faculty will provide free legal advice to the public in general during this camp ... "As per the Education Rules 2008 of the Bar Council of India, every law faculty should run a legal aid clinic under the supervision of a senior faculty member," said professor R C Patel, officer on special duty at Faculty of Law.
    4 of 20
  • Australian Law Awards finalists announced
    17 August 2015 read more >
    The finalists in the category of Corporate - Pro Bono Program of the Year are: Colin Biggers & Paisley; K&L Gates; King & Wood Mallesons, Australian Securities & Investments Commission and Telstra; Maurice Blackburn Lawyers; Robina Community Legal Centre Inc.; Salvos Legal & Salvos Legal Humanitarian; Sparke Helmore Lawyers; TressCox Lawyers. The Awards dinner will be held on 17 September.
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  • Firm joins fight against Alzheimers
    13 August 2015 read more >
    K&L Gates has jumped on board 'Ben's Big Bash', a cricket tournament established by fifteen year old Ben Philip to fight Alzheimers'... K&L Gates has significantly increased the number of pro bono hours undertaken in recent years, soaring from 8.5 hours per lawyer on average to 38 in just three years... "It is our belief that as lawyers we have a professional responsibility to provide access to justice to those that need it most," [Clare Power] said of K&L Gate's pro bono program.
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  • Not-for-profit Law funded to expand service across Australia [media release]
    13 August 2015 read more >
    Not-for-profit Law has received grant funding as part of Perpetual's IMPACT Partnership Program to support the expansion of its services across Australia over the next four years. The expansion will take place in phases. Work is already underway with our member law firms to extend the Information Hub to cover all jurisdictions of Australia.
    7 of 20
  • US: CA prison to provide surgery to trans woman
    13 August 2015 read more >
    State prison officials have reached a groundbreaking settlement with a transgender woman held in a men's prison and will provide gender-affirming surgery for her, while another imprisoned transgender woman who's been seeking surgery from the state was paroled this week. The Oakland-based Transgender Law Center... represented Quine along with pro bono counsel from the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP.
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  • Ashurst seeks Pro Bono Lawyer / Senior Associate in Sydney
    12 August 2015 read more >
    This role is for a Pro Bono Senior Associate or Pro Bono Lawyer (determined by the candidate's experience)... Responsibilities include the coordination and management of the Ashurst pro bono program in New South Wales (NSW) and support the coordination and management of the pro bono program in the Northern Territory (NT).
    9 of 20
  • Jane Dixon QC Appointed To The Supreme Court [media release]
    11 August 2015 read more >
    Attorney-General Martin Pakula today announced the appointment of Jane Dixon QC to the Supreme Court, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honourable Justice Betty King. Ms Dixon brings more than 30 years experience to the role... She is a former President of Liberty Victoria, Chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the Victorian Bar, member of the Indigenous Lawyers Committee and Trustee of the Indigenous Barristers Fund.
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  • US: Sen. Durbin urges pro bono work, new approaches to closing justice gap
    8 August 2015 read more >
    On Aug. 1 at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. shed light on the problem of access to justice in America and challenged members of the legal profession to contribute more to improving the delivery of legal services in the United States... Durbin provided his remarks as part of his keynote address at the 2015 ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards luncheon, where he recognized the exemplary volunteer contributions of New York lawyer Daniel L. Brown of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; Maine lawyer Leslie S. Silverstein; Baylor University School of Law; Jones Day; and the United Airlines Legal Department.
    11 of 20
  • Wrongful detentions: NSW Police to pay $1.85 million in compensation after settling class action
    3 August 2015 read more >
    The NSW Police force has agreed to pay a total of $1.85 million to scores of young people across the state who have been wrongfully arrested, imprisoned and in some cases strip-searched due to errors in the police database... The issues before the class action was launched in 2010 by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Sydney law firm Maurice Blackburn.
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  • US: Q&A: How Law Firm Ober|Kaler Takes Pro Bono Support to the Next Level
    3 August 2015 read more >
    We spoke recently with Ober|Kaler pro bono coordinator Paul Sugar about the law firm's long-running partnership with Maryland's community-based program Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law) and the wide range of assistance that Ober|Kaler gives to the program ... "We go beyond case support -- and this is what, in my view, makes our program out of the ordinary... we consider this a signature pro bono program by our firm."
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  • US: The Need for Pro-Bono Programs at Law Firms
    31 July 2015 read more >
    Lisa Dewey, DLA Piper's full-time Pro Bono Counsel and Partner since 1999, advises and represents individuals and public interest organizations across the country and around the world. Recently, she spoke about the need for pro bono programs at law firms and DLA Piper's overall strategy... "law firms should do everything they can to support pro bono work and, when possible, to create an infrastructure that supports those efforts and the projects that have the most local impact."
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  • UK: Post-LASPO pro bono immigration increase 'not sustainable'
    31 July 2015 read more >
    The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act ... removed the majority of immigration matters from the scope of legal aid funding. The ministry/s report... on onward immigration appeals, said 'there is little evidence that LASPO has adversely affected cases' ... The majority of respondents [however] ... believed the increase in the amount of pro bono or reduced rate work undertaken... post-LASPO, is not sustainable.
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  • Philanthropy in the LGBTI Community
    31 July 2015 read more >
    ... Corporate philanthropy is also a great way to ensure connections to a community ... according to Michael Nightingale, special counsel for law firm Norton Rose Fulbright... "Through [our] Corporate Social Responsibility program, [we encourage] people to contribute to the communities in which they work and live through pro bono work and volunteering, by participating in reconciliation and sustainability activities, and through charitable giving," he said.
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  • NZ: Pro bono 'part and parcel' of being a lawyer
    30 July 2015 read more >
    For Simpson Grierson partner Michael Wood, pro bono work isn't optional - it's imperative. "I see pro bono work as being part and parcel of being a lawyer, not just a 'nice to have'," he told Australasian Lawyer. "Volunteering one's time and skills is part of the glue that binds civil society together. Lawyers have a vital role to play in providing access to all aspects of law for those who aren't able to afford it."
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  • Billable hours to combat sex-trafficking
    29 July 2015 read more >
    The International Justice Mission is urging lawyers to give up an hour of their time to combat sex-trafficking in the Philippines. Under the Time for Justice campaign, fee-earning professionals donate one billable hour's charge-out rate to IJM's anti-trafficking work ... IJM Australia chief executive Jeff Nagle said IJM was proud to be working with the Australian legal profession to support lawyers working on the ground.
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  • US: Immigrants' attorneys say they were 'locked out' of detention centers after raising concerns
    27 July 2015 read more >
    Pro bono attorneys working at the country's two largest immigrant family detention centers in Texas said Monday that they have been "locked out" after they raised concerns last week that officials were forcing the immigrant mothers they represent to sign legal papers without consulting them... On Monday, four national immigration lawyers groups working at the two newer, larger detention centers south of San Antonio in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement demanding it "account for the cascade of due process violations and detrimental practices."
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  • Splendour in the Grass sets up free legal tent for punters seeking advice
    25 July 2015 read more >
    Punters greeted, or caught out by sniffer dogs on their arrival at [the music festival] this weekend can take solace in professional and pro bono advice, as Lismore's Randall Legal have set up shop with a free legal tent onsite ... Naomi Carter, a solicitor at Randall Legal ... said helping young festival-goers early on is imperative, as they generally become "quite distressed with the fact they've been charged." Carter told us that a criminal conviction for personal use can be a particularly strong blight on punters' futures.
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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.

read more >


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.

read more >


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 >


New relationship with Australian Legal Sector Alliance

4 May 2015

The Centre is pleased to announce its new relationship with the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA). From FY2016 AusLSA plans to incorporate pro bono into its reporting framework with reference to the Centre’s National Pro Bono Aspirational Target.

read more >


The Walk for Justice is only weeks away

23 April 2015

On Tuesday 12 May - National Pro Bono Day - lawyers, law students, the judiciary and everyone else have a chance to show their support for social justice and pro bono by participating in the Walk for Justice (or Queensland Legal Walk in Queensland) and helping to provide much needed funds to their local pro bono clearing house.

read more >


Registrations now open for the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference 2015

25 March 2015

Registrations are now open for the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference 2015, to be held in Sydney on 18 & 19 June 2015. A list of speakers, including Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year, has also been announced.

read more >


WA's Law Access pro bono clearing house gets underway at the University of WA

26 February 2015

In a watershed moment for pro bono development in the West, the pro bono clearing house “Law Access” has just opened its doors at new premises in the Law Faculty at the University of WA. Law Access has existed as a pro bono referral scheme within the Law Society of WA since 1992 but is now to be operated by Law Access Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Law Society.

read more >


The Centre welcomes its new Chair and Board Members

18 December 2014

The Centre welcomes its new Chair, Phillip Cornwell (Allens), and new Board Members, Daniel Creasey (CBP Lawyers) and Jane Hutchison (Hobart Community Legal Centre).

read more >


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