Graduates in Gadens Lawyers' Sydney office have been given the opportunity to do a pro bono secondment with a firm client during their first-year rotation program.
In a program specifically designed for graduates, they will spend four months - or one rotation - of their first year with a pro bono client of the firm.
John Dalzell, the partner in charge of graduate recruitment, said the program was introduced in recognition of the altruistic ambitions of many young lawyers.
"Many lawyers start their careers, commendably, with a strong sense of social justice and a desire to make a positive difference to society. We wanted to give our junior lawyers the opportunity to find fulfillment through meaningful legal work, knowing that they have the support of a commercial law firm that shares those values behind them," Dalzell said.
Melinda Wong, the first graduate to go through the pro bono secondment program, will complete her four month secondment to Salvos Legal in June, and said the program has provided her with a multitude of skills that she will take into commercial practice.
"I've gained experience in managing my own matters across all different areas of law such as criminal, family, employment and migration law and it has also helped to build my client communication skills. The secondment has been a fantastic opportunity to support an innovative organisation and help others in need of legal assistance," Wong said.
Luke Geary, managing partner at Salvos Legal, declared the program a success.
"Over the past four months we have had the great privilege of working in close partnership with Gadens Lawyers. Specifically, we have benefited from the wealth of their skilled, passionate graduates by taking on board Melinda Wong as a secondee to our Surry Hills office," he said.
"To have had ... the support that comes from a firm such as Gadens in terms of administrative assistance, research capabilities and resources has been of incredible benefit to our practice. This has had a direct impact in giving access to justice for some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of society."