For the first time since 2013, Australian legal professionals have met the voluntary pro bono target set by the Australian Pro Bono Centre. The goal was set at 35 hours per legal professional per year. In the last financial year, lawyers provided an average of 36 hours.
While increased government legal aid funding is necessary to address the demand for legal services, the dedication and generosity shown by legal professionals is a positive step forward. Community legal centres that face funding cuts greatly benefit from private practitioners donating their time and resources to ensuring access to justice.
Last financial year, CCLSWA received 44 hours of pro bono assistance from King & Wood Mallesons and Francis Burt Chambers. This amounts to upwards of $20,000 worth of legal services.