find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
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
Mid-size firms catching up in pro bono stakes

Mid-size firms catching up in pro bono stakes

While large firms continued to dominate in meeting pro bono targets during 2014-15, mid-size firms reported the most pro bono growth, a report has revealed.

The Australian Pro Bono Centre has released its eighth Annual Performance Report on the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target (Target), based on data provided by 77 law firms that have agreed to use their best efforts to achieve a target of 35 hours of pro bono legal work per lawyer, per year.

Large law firms (more than 450 lawyers) continue to perform the best, with seven out of the nine largest firms in Australia meeting or exceeding the Target in 2014-15.

Australian Pro Bono Centre director John Corker said: “In a tightening legal services market, it is a tribute to the dedication of these firms that they have maintained and grown their pro bono programs despite today’s competitive challenges.”

Only three out of the 10 mid-size reporting firms (201-449 lawyers) met or exceeded the Target; however, they did report the most growth.

Six of the 10 mid-size firms reported more than 20 per cent growth in the number of pro bono hours per lawyer for the 2014-15 year.

“It is also heartening to see the dedication of sole practitioners and small firms, who turned in some amazing results this year,” Mr Corker said.

“One sole practitioner reported 650 pro bono hours for the year.”

The total number of legal professionals covered by the Target increased 3 per cent from 2013-14 to more than 11,000 in 2014-15.

However, the participation rate slipped from 65.6 per cent in 2013-14 to 64.4 per cent in 2014-15.

Those who reported performed a total of 372,602 hours of pro bono legal work, which equates to 207 lawyers working pro bono full-time for one year.

The overall average number of pro bono hours per lawyer per year was slightly down from 34.2 in 2013-14 to 33.2 in 2014-15 and still below the target of 35 hours.

Mr Corker said there is still a lot of variation in the firms’ results and there are some that reported a decrease in pro bono hours worked.

“In firms that reported a significant drop in their pro bono work this year, the reason appears to be a lack of sustained coordination by a person who is skilled and adequately resourced to undertake the task,” Mr Corker said.

“There is clearly room for growth in pro bono legal work in a number of firms. These results will allow firms to benchmark themselves against their peers.”

Like this story? Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive Lawyers Weekly every day straight to your inbox.

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

Mid-size firms catching up in pro bono stakes
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microscope
06:04
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
06:00
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
06:00
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
Thomson Reuters has appointed an experienced real estate lawyer to its Practical Law Australia team....
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 & ...