New Funds-National Pro Bono (Legal) Resource Ctr
13 July 2005 at 1:07 pm
A new four-year funding arrangement from July 1 has enabled the National Pro Bono (Legal) Resource Centre to continue its work in promoting and supporting the delivery of pro bono legal services in Australia.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announced the allocation of $1 million over four years in the recent Federal Budget.
Mr Ruddock said the new funding reflected the Government’s commitment to pro bono services and recognition of the role of the Centre in promoting it.
Since its establishment in 2002, the Centre has helped address concerns pro bono work was fragmented and uncoordinated, and had also helped overcome practical obstacles faced by some legal professionals who wished to offer pro bono assistance.
The Government says the funding will enable the National Pro Bono Resource Centre to continue its excellent work in encouraging the legal profession to provide pro bono services to disadvantaged people in our community.
It says the Centre has been very active in promoting pro bono work and providing resources and information to legal practitioners wishing to undertake it. It has also actively promoted pro bono work in law schools, fostering a pro bono culture amongst future legal practitioners.
The Attorney general says the Centre has helped to ensure pro bono legal assistance was targeted at those most in need by arranging training for potential pro bono providers in the specific areas of law impacting most on disadvantaged people.
It had also encouraged city-based legal firms to provide pro bono assistance to rural community legal centres.
The centre says these partnership type arrangements were still evolving but had the potential to significantly enhance the pro bono assistance available to people in rural and regional Australia.
In the absence of any proposed survey of the legal profession by the ABS until 2009 the Centre is currently undertaking a national survey of pro bono work.
The survey will be conducted in three parts, survey of law firms, survey of solicitors and survey of barristers. The survey has the support in principle of the Law Council of Australia and will be conducted electronically.