find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Lawyers offer hand out for cancer patients

Lawyers offer hand out for cancer patients

LAW FIRM Baker & McKenzie has set up what appears to be a first — a pro bono legal service dedicated to cancer patients. Along with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, the firm has…

LAW FIRM Baker & McKenzie has set up what appears to be a first — a pro bono legal service dedicated to cancer patients.

Along with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, the firm has launched the Cancer Patients Legal Service in Melbourne. It involves 30 Baker & McKenzie lawyers of differing practice areas and seniority in the firm, and has been in pilot phase since October last year.

Patients at the Foundation are referred to the legal centre for help with accessing superannuation to deal with debt and costs around care and potential death, and powers of attorney for patients in palliative care. “Social workers were trying to deal with all these things as well as caring for the patients’ emotional needs, and that was a diversion of their precious time,” said Jennifer McVicar, director of the pro bono program at Baker & McKenzie.

The firm had considered setting up a physical legal centre, but settled for a more flexible approach. “Our clients — the patients — are not always able to be in the office with us,” said McVicar.

“Sometimes we might have to go to the hospital or their homes to advise them.” Solicitors involved in the project have been known to give power of attorney advice to clients as they lie in the centre undergoing chemotherapy. Potentially, they may need to be accessible for emergency 24 hours a day.

Benefits of the program are expected to accrue to all involved. Social workers at Peter Mac participate in training courses on legal issues run by Baker & McKenzie lawyers, and lawyers in turn are coached by social workers on the effects of cancer and how to deal sensitively with their debilitated and often terminally ill clients. Patients at the centre receive both expert legal advice and high quality social work without compromising on either.

Very few people realise the financial impact of being diagnosed with cancer, said Elizabeth Ballinger, head of social work at Peter Mac. “Some of the people we are referring to Baker & McKenzie are young people with high salaries and families who have just invested in property and want to get at their super to help them out. They couldn’t afford this kind of professional advice.”

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

Lawyers offer hand out for cancer patients
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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 & ...