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Current News

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  • Young lawyers call for compulsory pro bono
    21 May 2015 read more >
    Lawyers should be obliged to do pro bono work as a condition of their practising certificates, several Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 finalists have proposed. Finalists in the pro bono category were asked to share their suggestions for improving the legal profession. DLA Piper senior associate Cindy Lim suggested that lawyers are in a privileged position and therefore had an obligation to give back ...
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  • New boutique sets 30pc pro bono target
    18 May 2015 read more >
    A recently launched sole operator has set herself an ambitious target, aiming to spend 30 per cent of her hours on pro bono work. RAL Lawyers was launched last month by Rebecca Lesiw, a former general counsel who worked at Henry Davis York and Herbert Smith Freehills. Ms Lesiw said her practice would offer commercial law, employment law and human resources advisory services, but a third of her time would be devoted to pro bono cases.
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  • Lawyer goes back to school to tackle disadvantage
    15 May 2015 read more >
    A Wyndam Legal lawyer will take up a four day a week role at large school in Werribee as part of a two-year donor-funded pilot program. The innovative program aims to assist the families of Grange Secondary School students, who face a range of social and financial issues that frequently prevent students from attending school and have seen teachers increasingly dealing with issues well outside the scope of teaching.
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  • Legal profession walks the walk for justice
    14 May 2015 read more >
    Not content to just talk the talk, lawyers and judges across the country hit the pavement last Tuesday to promote the work of pro bono lawyers. As part of Law Week, the Walk for Justice event brought together members of the legal community for an early morning stroll to raise awareness for the contribution of the pro bono sector - which is a lot to achieve before breakfast, in Folklaw's humble opinion.
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  • Clayton Utz recognised for work with indigenous communities
    14 May 2015 read more >
    Clayton Utz has received a Humanitarian Partner Award citation for its pro bono work with the Australian Red Cross in the Northern Territory. The award recognises the firm's pro bono legal assistance, volunteer and financial support for various Red Cross NT programs for young people.
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  • Pro bono champion recognised
    14 May 2015 read more >
    Adam Levine, partner at K&L Gates, is the 2015 recipient of the WA Attorney General's Community Service Law Award for his commitment to pro bono work. Devoting hundreds of hours to pro bono each year, Levine runs his firm's hugely successful pro bono practice in Perth, which has an 80 percent participation rate and averages 35 hours of pro bono work per partner per year.
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  • Attorney-General sets cracking pace for Chief Justice
    12 May 2015 read more >
    We know lawyers can talk under wet cement. But this morning in Brisbane, hundreds of them are giving their mouths a rest and putting their legs into action.They're on a walk around the city for a worthy cause. It's the 2015 Queensland Legal Walk.
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  • Nigeria: NBA Stamp, Seal Will Enhance Lawyers' Income
    12 May 2015 read more >
    The essence of the NBA scheme that was launched recently was a clearing house for pro bono legal work, as also we have an inbuilt certification scheme, so that when lawyers are doing pro bono legal work they know that there is a need for the NBA to certify that the work indeed meets the criteria for pro bono legal service. Basically all these initiatives are innovations to enhance the practice and the integrity of the process.
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  • DLA Piper expands pro bono team
    11 May 2015 read more >
    A senior associate from a global firm will join DLA Piper as it grows its pro bono practice. Catriona Martin will leave Herbert Smith Freehills to take up the role of Asia Pacific pro bono counsel. Ms Martin previously worked in the disputes group at HSF and has extensive experience in public interest litigation, legal education, law reform and implementation of community programs, according to a statement from DLA Piper.
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  • Firms and in-house team up for pro bono
    7 May 2015 read more >
    Many in-house teams are interested in undertaking pro bono work, but face obstacles when it comes to establishing a pro bono practice. In response, in-house lawyers are increasingly teaming up with law firms on pro bono matters ... In the 2014 financial year, 27 percent of firms surveyed by the National Pro Bono Resource Centre reported working with the in-house counsel of their corporate clients on pro bono matters or projects.
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  • UK: Thousands of lawyers set to march in London for justice [media release]
    6 May 2015 read more >
    Solicitors, barristers, legal executives and thousands of other professionals working in London's legal sector are set to march in London on 18 May to raise vital funds for the London Legal Support Trust, an independent charity that raises funds for free legal services in London and the south-east. The annual London Legal Walk, sponsored by the Law Society, is one of several legal charity walks that take place around the country. This year will see more than 8,000 lawyers, including more than 100 judges and magistrates, take to the streets of the capital to walk 10k together to raise much-needed money for free legal advice agencies.
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  • US: Rules Allow Broader View of Pro Bono [requires subscription]
    5 May 2015 read more >
    New procedures allowing New York lawyers to anonymously disclose their pro bono donations are the byproduct of court administrators and the organized bar working together, leaders of both sides said Monday.
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  • Pro bono and green lawyers find common ground
    5 May 2015 read more >
    Two key groups working to deliver pro bono and sustainability outcomes have formed an alliance. The Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA) and the National Pro Bono Resource Centre (NPBRC) have announced that they intend to work together to achieve shared objectives. This collaboration will allow law firms to place the community contributions of their pro bono programs within their broader sustainability context and will reduce the reporting burdens of law firms.
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  • Global empowerment of women on Ashurst's agenda
    1 May 2015 read more >
    The new international head of pro bono at Ashurst is looking to focus the firm's efforts on gender rights. "The empowerment of women has such a positive effect on development," Sarah Morton-Ramwell told Lawyers Weekly. "It is one of the few common themes across the globe," Ms Morton-Ramwell said. "It is a common goal we can have across the network."
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  • US: Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year: DLA Piper
    30 April 2015 read more >
    This year's Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award is presented to DLA Piper, which stood out for its commitment to maintaining a leading practice and the ground breaking work it had undertaken. In an exclusive interview, Who's Who Legal spoke with members of the practice to find out what it takes to establish and maintain a leading pro bono practice.
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  • US: Law professors take up Purvi Patel feticide appeal for free
    30 April 2015 read more >
    Patel was convicted of child neglect and feticide after, authorities said, she illegally used drugs to try to induce her own abortion, then failed to get medical help for her infant son after he was born alive. A judge handed down a 20-year sentence in March. She will now have cost-free help from two prominent experts in criminal appeals.
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  • SA: Pro bono office launched in Pretoria
    29 April 2015 read more >
    Access to justice for Tshwane's poorest will be improved by streamlining the administration of pro bono legal aid - and allowing attorneys to choose how they wish to spend their time giving back. The strategy will be spearheaded by a new Pretoria-based office established jointly by the Law Society of the Northern Provinces (LSNP) and ProBono.Org. Only those who pass a means test will qualify for pro bono assistance.
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  • Commuters bullied into paying myki fines, claims Julian Burnside
    29 April 2015 read more >
    Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC has taken on a ticket infringement case pro bono amid allegations the department was avoiding legal scrutiny of the $1.5 billion fault-plagued ticketing technology. Mr. Burnside says that innocent commuters are being bullied into paying myki fines by the state's transport department in an apparent "standover racket".
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  • US: The power of good and corporate social responsibility
    27 April 2015 read more >
    What is CSR in 2015? Generally, most law firm programs have three components: pro bono and community service, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability. When treated as mere window-dressing or boxes to be checked, these concepts don't survive very long; however, when considered an intrinsic part of a firm's global business strategy, each of these components, both individually and collectively, improves a firm's effectiveness and strengthens its brand.
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  • US: Pro Bono: Helpful or Hurtful to Do Something for Nothing?
    23 April 2015 read more >
    ... Many of the large firms encourage, or even require, lawyers to do pro bono work. Indeed, some firms go so far as to expect attorneys to perform a certain number of pro bono hours per year and even give attorneys billable-hour credit to make the expectation attainable. Nevertheless, among some young lawyers, there is a whispered fear that pro bono work is not viewed as "real" work within their firms.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Report shows pro bono growth but reveals warning signs

12 December 2014

The Final Report on the Fourth Biennial National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey, released today, highlights the impressive pro bono contribution of large law firms which continues to grow. However, a number of concerning trends are also identified. Some of these trends were also recognised in the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Report on Access to Justice Arrangements, released last week.

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Law firms agree to collaborate around a new UK pro bono aspirational target

13 November 2014

In what looks like being a significant moment in the development of legal pro bono culture in the UK, at least eighteen large law firms with offices in the UK agreed last week to participate in a new Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono in the UK.

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Law Firm Survey Interim Report and Target Report released

2 October 2014

The Centre today released the Fourth National Law Firm Pro Bono Survey (Australian firms with 50+ lawyers) Interim Report and the Seventh Annual Performance Report on the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target. Forty of the 55 firms with 50+ lawyers, including 24 of the 25 largest, responded to the Survey. Of the 20 largest firms in Australia, 17 are now signatories to the Target.

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Pro bono at National CLCs Conference and Legal Aid NSW Civil Law Conference

27 August 2014

John Corker, Director of the Centre, attended the National CLCs Conference and the Legal Aid NSW Civil Law Conference this month. He shares his experience in this month’s newsletter.

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National Partnership Agreement Review Final Report released

30 July 2014

The Final Report of the Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Service, prepared by the Allen Consulting Group (now ACIL Allen Consulting) for the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department, has been released.

read more >


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