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Pro bono helps alleviate poverty

The National Pro Bono Resource Centre has released a report detailing instances where pro bono legal work has in some cases stopped clients from being homeless.

The Stories of Pro Bono Lawyers Alleviating Poverty report was launched by the director of the Resource Centre, John Corker, to coincide with anti poverty week 2010 from 17 to 23 October.

The report lists 12 specific cases where the provision of pro bono legal services has helped to alleviate poverty.

One such story includes the case of a terminally ill woman who entered into a mobile phone contract while under the influence of strong pain killers, accruing a debt of over $3000. Lawyers from Blake Dawson and Murphy Schmidt were successful in getting the debt waived.

The report also highlights the work of Minter Ellison and the Caxton Legal Centre in preventing retirees at a Brisbane retirement village from becoming homeless, and Corrs Chambers Westgarth acting on a pro bono basis for a refugee involved in a motor vehicle accident.

The pro bono work of Maurice Blackburn, DLA Phillips Fox, Jackson McDonald, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Freehills, Allens Arthur Robinson and the Australian Government Solicitor were also highlighted.

The Law Society of New South Wales has also announced that Parramatta lawyer Em Phang of Phang Lawyers has won the 2010 Justice Awards at Parliament House.

Law Society president Mary Macken said Phang showed "incredible dedication towards his clients".

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