Australian Pro Bono Manual
21 March 2005 at 12:03 pm
Australian Pro Bono Manual
The National Pro Bono Resource Centre, in conjunction with the Victoria Law Foundation, have compiled a manual for law firms to enhance and encourage the provision of pro bono legal services while offering a valuable resource to Not for Profit organisations.
The manual grew out of a recommendation of the National Pro Bono Task Force to develop a ‘how to’ handbook that would provide detailed practical advice to law firms and legal practitioners on topics ranging from promoting a pro bono culture within a firm to budgeting, accounting, taxation and record keeping.
Through a mixture of commentary, advice, precedents and background information the manual aims to assist law firms wishing to establish, develop or expand their pro bono practices.
It will also be of value to individuals and organisation seeking resources and ideas about pro bono legal work.
The topics covered in the manual were chosen following consultation with Australian law firms, particularly those operating or embarking on structured pro bono programs.
The Foundation says the transition from ad hoc to organised law firm pro bono practices provides benefits for both the firms and the recipients of their services. For example, firms are better able to manage the level of their commitment to pro bono work, to track and record it, to provide opportunities for a greater number of lawyers and to target and meet the needs of low-income and disadvantaged people.
The manual draws on the experience of firms, together with international good practice, to provide practical information, precedent documents and other tools to assist law firms to develop, expand and maintain organised pro bono programs.
The Director of the National Pro Bono Resource Centre John Corker says the Australian Pro Bono Manual is a highly practical resource developed to assist firms to provide pro bono legal services that are effective for both the firm and the community.
Corker says the well-being of law firms cannot be separated from the well-being of the community. Not only is it a professional responsibility but there is business case for pro bono.
The Executive Director of the Victoria Law Foundation Kathy Laster says
engagement in pro bono activity is now an integral part of the professional lives of lawyers and law firms. This resource makes it easier for law firms to develop a pro bono program that works.
The first half of the manual focuses on policy and procedural issues relevant to firma providing pro bono services. The second half contains precedents and pro-formas and a resources section.
The Australian Pro Bono Manual -A Practice Guide and Resource Kit for law firms is edited by Jill Anderson and published by Victoria Law Foundation and National Pro Bono Resource Centre. The cost is $49.95.
To order a copy of the manual contact the Australian Book Group on (03) 5625 4290. Or download the order form at:www.nationalprobono.org.au/publications/documents/Flyer050222.pdf.