Melbourne Law Firm Wins 'Pro Bono' Award
Monday, 2nd April 2001 at 1:04 pm
Melbourne Law Firm, Arthur Robinson and Hedderwicks has won the inaugural Australian Law Awards 2001 for pro bono work. But the firm says it’s just one of many legal practices doing good work in this area around the country.
Tom Yuncken, the partner in charge of the company’s pro bono practice says the award is mainly based on its long time association with the Fitzroy Legal Service in Melbourne.
Yuncken says Arthur Robinson and Hedderwicks has funded an article clerk at the Fitzroy Legal Service for the past two years.
As well the firm has combined with the Service to undertake an extensive research project into sentencing and drug issues. Four articled clerks devoted a half-day each week to the project in 1999 and 2000 to carry out the research. A draft report has been completed and the Service is expected to publish its results in the next few months.
Yuncken says his firm is currently putting the finishing touches to a new research project, the details of which will also be released soon.
He says his firm is also involved in general pro bono work taking referrals from the Public Interest law Clearing House (PILCH) and linking with many community services. Plans are currently under-way to join with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service.
Tom Yuncken says while it is nice to be recognised for a good pro bono program it should not be at the expense of the many other legal firms, large and small, that carry out extensive work “for the public good”.
He says while it may be unfair to single out particular firms he cannot ignore the work done by large practices such as Minter Ellison, Clayton Utz and Freehills just to name a few. Other firms nominated for the pro bono award include Blake Dawson Waldron, Gilbert and Tobin and Michael Frankel and Co.
The inaugural wards were organised and presented by the publishers of Lawyers Weekly, THC Press. As well as the pro bono award, there were 25 other categories including “Young Gun of the Year” which went to Hedy Meggiorin from Minter Ellison. Their legal peers did the judging with the pro bono award presented by Federal Attorney General, Daryl Williams QC.
Do you want to nominate your own pro bono lawyer for recognition of good works for your organisation? Tell us your story on the forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.