On 12 December 2016, 18 mid-sized Australian law firms wrote an open letter to the Commonwealth and State Governments urging them to reverse funding cuts to the legal assistance sector and to develop a sustainable funding contribution plan.
Community Legal Centres are currently facing a 30 per cent funding reduction despite the Productivity Commission recommending an additional $200m annually funding to the legal assistance sector. The recommendations include an additional annual $120m from the Commonwealth Government.
In 2016 mid-sized firms experienced significant growth in pro bono work. The letter stresses the reliance of these firms on the partnership of Community Legal Centres to reach out to vulnerable and disadvantaged clients throughout Australia.
Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc. relies on pro bono partnerships with a number of law firms to deliver its service to the community.
You can read the letter in full here.