find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
High pro bono score, but response poor so far

High pro bono score, but response poor so far

Relatively high numbers of lawyers are undertaking significant levels of pro bono work, according to the preliminary results of a national survey, but more need to take part in the survey to get…

Relatively high numbers of lawyers are undertaking significant levels of pro bono work, according to the preliminary results of a national survey, but more need to take part in the survey to get definitive results.

The National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s (NPBRC) project officer, research and policy, Olivia Wellesley-Cole, said it was “heartening” to see that 58 per cent of respondents to the Queensland component of the survey had done more than 30 hours of pro bono work in the past 12 months.

Two to five fee earner firms recorded the highest number of respondents — 35 per cent — to the survey, and in total two-thirds of respondents were from one-office law firms, with 16 per cent of respondents from firms with more than 40 fee earners.

However, Wellesley-Cole stressed that only 225 Queensland lawyers responded to the survey, representing just 5 per cent of the number of lawyers in the state, so caution should be taken when drawing any conclusions. “Clearly we’d like more to respond.”

It was also difficult to make comparisons here or overseas. Wellesley-Cole is uncertain if any comparable surveys had been undertaken in Australia, and it was one of the most comprehensive of its kind conducted in Australia or overseas. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence, but there is no real [data].”

“The intention [behind the survey] is very simple. To make known what the situation is, and address a need for reliable information about the amount of pro bono work being done by lawyers,” she said.

Surveys will be undertaken for the other states in the near future.

After the survey for individual lawyers is complete, the NPBRC will conduct two further surveys of law firms and barristers.

The Queensland survey gives some indication of firms’ approach to pro bono. Only 17 per cent of individual lawyers said their firm had a pro bono policy, and most said firms don’t include pro bono legal work in promotion, salary review, billable hours, meeting financial targets or performance appraisals.

But 26 per cent said their firm tracked their pro bono work and 96 per cent said their pro bono work was done with the knowledge of the firm.

See: www.nationalprobono.org.au/survey.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

High pro bono score, but response poor so far
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 24 2017
Demand lifts in 2017/18 for short-term finance to cover crises
Promoted by NWC Finance. The first five months of the 2017-18 financial year have seen unpreceden...
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
Nov 24 2017
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
Nov 24 2017
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...