In-house or Government legal units

Corporate and government in-house legal units are well placed to contribute to and benefit from a relationship with LawRight.

Ways to get involved

  • join as a member - your membership fee helps us deliver pro bono programs ($1,210 for government legal units, $3,630 for corporate legal unit)

  • sponsor a LawRight project

  • participate in or sponsor forums and other services provided by LawRight

  • second an in-house lawyer to LawRight

  • accept referrals for pro bono case work (independently or through co-counsel arrangements with a LawRight member law firm)

The benefits of becoming involved

  • LawRight assists your legal department in establishing a pro bono policy and procedures to best suit its corporate identity and philosophy.

  • The opportunity to demonstrate your legal department's real support for the ideal of good corporate citizenship.

  • Public recognition for pro bono work by your involvement in public interest policy issues.

  • Improved recruitment possibilities with many graduates and lawyers seeking out employers with real commitment to pro bono lawyering.

  • Wide experience for lawyers, with exposure to diverse legal issues and regular contact with the broader sections of the legal and general community.

  • Increased staff satisfaction and retention by involving lawyers in community legal work.

  • Regular publication in the LawRight newsletter and other publications of the pro bono activities of its members.

  • The knowledge that you are helping people with real problems in practical ways.

  • Recognition of the full professional responsibilities of lawyers, wherever they work.

Projects

Involvement in our projects may be of particular interest. For example:

  • We received a philanthropic grant from the English Family Foundation to develop legal services for people with mental illness.
  • We coordinate the Open Minds Legal Clinic in coordation with DLA Piper, and have trained students to appear as advocates for clients in the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
  • In partnership with a number of community organisations, such as the Salvation Army and Mission Australia, we operate the Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic (HPLC).
  • Through the HPLC, volunteer lawyers with the support of their employers assist people experiencing homelessness during work hours at community host agencies.
  • Ashurst seconded a solicitor to set up and initially coordinate the HPLC, and now over 300 lawyers from 24 firms across Brisbane, Toowoomba and Townsville volunteer with the HPLC.
  • In Victoria, corporate legal units participate in the HPLC.
  • Our member firms, professional associations, government departments and corporations send teams to participate in the Queensland Legal Walk, held annually as part of Law Week. The funds raised go to legal services for disadvantages and vulnerable people.

Corporate involvement in pro bono cases is increasing internationally. We can provide further detailed information that will help a corporate legal department decide what its association with LawRight would involve.

Insurance

LawRight's insurance covers involvement by a corporate legal unit participating in our services. The Australian Pro Bono Centre has introduced a Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme to encourage lawyers that work in corporations and government to undertake pro bono legal work. Cover is available at no charge to the applicant.

 

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