The pro bono landmark coincided with the firm’s release of 15 highlights from 15 years of pro bono practice, which follows the development of the Clayton Utz pro bono practice since it was established in 1997.
Over 15 years, Clayton Utz has acted on a pro bono basis for more than 3000 people and nearly 1000 non-profit organisations, and assisted thousands more people at 18 different outreach legal advice clinics.
The 15 highlights touch on familiar themes: responding to disadvantage, acting primarily for people rather than organisations, working collaboratively with community legal organisations, government and other law firms, and focusing on communities in regional, rural and remote Australia.
Clayton Utz pro bono partner David Hillard (pictured) said: “Most of our clients do not have notable legal test cases, but all have legal problems which are enormously significant to them. The people we act for cannot obtain Legal Aid and cannot afford a lawyer. Without our pro bono assistance, they would likely fall through the cracks of our legal system."
Hillard has led the Clayton Utz pro bono practice since it was established and has championed its culture across Australia’s legal profession.
The firm’s chief executive partner Darryl McDonough added: "In 15 years of our formal pro bono practice, Clayton Utz has helped to change what it means to be a successful Australian law firm.”