AU In the Comm

Our Pro Bono & Community Support Practice has formally been in place for over 12 years. It is focussed on enabling access to justice and enhancing social inclusion for vulnerable Australians through the delivery of pro bono legal services and community engagement.

We are serious about our commitment to the community. We have a privileged professional standing and a responsibility and strong desire to contribute in a meaningful way to make a difference. Our people have the opportunity to develop a sense of purpose working with us.

We have invested more than $15M into pro bono and community engagement over the life of the practice and have contributed over 50,000 hours in pro bono legal work to our communities.

Our pro bono legal work

At the heart of our pro bono legal work is the question of how can we use our legal expertise to address unmet legal need and contribute to access to justice for vulnerable Australians.

Many of the most disadvantaged Australians are often exposed to multiple legal problems that can have a substantial, negative impact on their lives and reinforce their disadvantage. This group is less equipped to deal with these issues and faces a number of barriers when accessing the justice system, making them less able to solve or mitigate legal disputes. This places them at a heightened vulnerability.

We know the legal system is inaccessible to many who lack financial or other resources, and our pro bono legal work is strategically focused on supporting access to justice, particularly in relation to:

  • women and older Australians experiencing family violence
  • human rights
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and organisations.

Our community engagement

Poverty and disadvantage are multidimensional and mutually reinforcing and often create a vicious cycle in peoples' lives. Deep and persistent disadvantage limits peoples' potential and their ability to grow, develop and engage within the community, and can lead to lack of opportunities and social exclusion.

In our view, connectedness is a big part of determining what people are and what they are able to do in their lives.

Our firm aims to contribute to positive social change and our engagement with the community focuses on two key areas:

  • enhancing social inclusion of young people and refugees
  • creating opportunities to empower people and communities.

We engage with people who are experiencing multiple disadvantage and social isolation, with a focus on mentoring, volunteering and through our firm's work experience program.

The firm is a member of Justice Connect and Law Right, and is also a signatory to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target.

PBCS impact FY16 cover