We are proud of our pro bono practice and recognise and embrace the responsibilities that come with being a successful, respected firm and a representative of the legal profession. For our people, the firm’s pro bono involvement is personally and professionally enriching.
We run a coordinated pro bono practice that acknowledges the time spent by all staff on pro bono matters. Recognising that there is a compelling unmet need to assist with access to justice and unrepresented litigants in the Courts in our community, we encourage and give full credit for pro bono work to everyone at the firm.
Our Pro Bono & Community Committee comprises of staff from all areas of the firm, including legal professionals and corporate services, managed by Nathan Kennedy and Emma Woolley. The committee considers requests for pro bono legal assistance which are referred by a number of organisations and Hall & Wilcox people. The committee actively seeks out opportunities to partner with organisations to provide pro bono legal assistance and establish long standing relationships.
We currently receive referrals and have fostered close, ongoing relationships with several inspirational organisations. These include:
- Public Interest Advocacy Centre
- Justice Connect
- Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS)
- Human Rights Law Centre
- The Cancer Council
- Indigenous Enterprise Legal Assistance Scheme
- Inner Melbourne Community Legal
- Law Access WA
- Marrickville Legal Centre
- Sussex Street Community Law Service
- Welfare Rights Centre
- Social Security Rights Victoria
- Being an active member of Justice Connect – New South Wales and Justice Connect – Victoria, Law Access – Western Australia and LawRight – Queensland which provides us with a steady flow of challenging and compelling referrals from not-for-profits, Local Aboriginal Land Councils and individuals for pro bono legal advice. The advice given comes from all practice areas of the firm.
- Since the closure of Justice Connect’s Seniors Law clinic in Footscray we provide legal advice to elderly Victorians through referrals from Seniors Law to prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights of older Victorians. Special Counsel Conrad Smith has a long standing relationship with the clinic.
- Being the primary legal advisor in the establishment of Australia’s first Pride Centre, The Victoria Pride Centre. This has involved assisting with organisation structuring, funding raising, site selection and procurement. Hall & Wilcox is a Gold Partner to the Pride Centre and the current registered office.
- Monthly volunteering on the Australian Centre for Disability Law telephone advice line.
- Providing motor vehicle specialist assistance at the MVA clinic run by the Marrickville Legal Centre.
- Providing advice at the Homeless Persons’ legal clinic in Raymond Terrace in partnership with PIAC (Public Interest Advocacy Centre).
- Assisting clients through Self-representation services in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with bankruptcy, employment, administrative law and human rights matters in the Federal Court.
- Volunteering on the Queensland Advocacy Inc. telephone advice on guardianship, administration and mental law matters.