find the latest legal job
Inhouse Legal Counsel -18 months-4 PAE - Real Estate Investment Company
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· In brand new prestigious CBD offices
View details
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
Lawyers give public interest law a leg up

Lawyers give public interest law a leg up

NEARLY 1000 members of the legal profession from across Australia put on their walking shoes last week to raise money for the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) in their state.The…

NEARLY 1000 members of the legal profession from across Australia put on their walking shoes last week to raise money for the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) in their state.

The inaugural “Walk for Justice” raised more than $30,000, which will be put towards PILCH initiatives to help disadvantaged people gain access to justice. Members across the legal profession took part in five-kilometre walks in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, with similar events also taking place in London and other locations in the UK.

Participants included private practice solicitors, barristers, judges, politicians, law students, representatives of law societies, bar associations and community legal centres and pro bono legal services and Legal Aid.

In Brisbane, around 300 people took part in a walk led by Queensland Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul De Jersey who walked alongside Queensland Attorney General Kerry Shine, raising around $10,000. Walkers gathered at the law courts complex and took off along the Brisbane River, finishing at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

According to Cristy Dieckmann, services co-ordinator at PILCH in Queensland, the money will go towards the organisation’s disbursement fund which benefits people receiving pro bono legal assistance either through the organisation’s referral scheme or directly through one of its legal clinics.

“If they need to pay an outlay, such a charge for a ‘freedom of information’ request or a court filing fee and they don’t have the funds to do it themselves, then they can access money through this disbursement fund,” she said.

The event in Sydney attracted about 250 walkers including New South Wales Attorney General John Hatzistergos and the Chief Judge at Common Law of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Justice Peter McClellan. The event began at the War Memorial in Hyde Park, continued through the Botanic Gardens and around Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, and finished at the Archibald Fountain.

According to Amy Kilpatrick, the director of PILCH in New South Wales, the walk raised at least $12,000 and she estimates that once all the funds are collected, the final figure could be high as $17,000.

“It was greatly successful. We’ve succeeded our expectations, given our lead time of only six weeks to get it all organised,” she said.

In addition to its pro bono referral service and training programs, PILCH in New South Wales is currently undertaking a number of issue-specific projects, including an aboriginal stolen wages project, a children in detention advocacy project and a project to assist people who have been victims of predatory lending practices. Kilpatrick said that the organisation is considering putting the funds towards research on credit and debt problems.

In Melbourne, the walk attracted about 150 participants, raising around $4000. Victorian Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and president of the Court of Appeal Chris Maxwell were patrons of the event, which began at Melbourne’s Parliament House and finished at the Flagstaff Gardens.

Michael McKiterick, a solicitor at the Victorian Bar Legal Assistance Scheme, said the money will be used throughout all of PILCH in Victoria’s schemes. These include a homeless persons’ legal clinic, a new seniors’ rights advocacy service and PILCH Connect, which is a specialist legal service for community organisations, he said.

The South Australian legal profession was also strongly represented at the walk held in Adelaide, with around 90 people participating. The walk was lead by South Australian Supreme Court Chief Justice John Doyle, and funds raised will go towards establishing a public interest law clearing house for the state.

Meanwhile in the UK, around 3,5000 members of the legal professional raised a record 310,000 pounds ($635,000) in the fourth annual “Legal Support Trust Walk”.

See Busy Lawyer on page 36 for more pictures from the event.

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 give public interest law a leg up
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Animal law moots, advocacy, Melbourne University, Australia and New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law
Sep 25 2017
Moot unleashes animal advocacy
Melbourne has played host to one of the largest animal law moots, with student participants put th...
Scales
Sep 25 2017
Transgender teens should not need legal approval for hormone treatment, court hears
A transgender 17-year-old known as Kelvin has appealed in the Family Court against the requirement o...
Appointed, Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
Sep 25 2017
NFP CEO appointed Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
The CEO of a Victorian not-for profit pro bono legal services provider has been named as the state...
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 & ...