Proctor : September 2019
41 PROCTOR | September 2019 Firms that elect to become members of LawRight, to enable them to participate in all of LawRight’s services, pay a membership fee. No fee is payable to participate in the QLS and BAQ pro bono services. There is also no obligation on member or participating firms to accept a matter that has been referred. LawRight assists the practitioner and client to establish their relationship, including setting a clear scope, managing expectations, discussing disbursements and addressing any potential for the matter to be handled on a reduced fee or speculative basis. In response to the need to assist those people who are not able to obtain pro bono representation, LawRight established its Self Representation Services (SRS) in the Supreme and District Courts, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Federal Court. Alexandra Moles, a partner at HopgoodGanim, answered questions about the firm’s involvement in pro bono matters. How does HopgoodGanim encourage involvement in pro bono matters? Alexandra: The partners at HopgoodGanim are committed to ensuring the success of the firms’ pro bono programs and encouraging involvement by all members of the firm. Each partner is responsible for promoting and encouraging participation by their team members and impressing upon their teams the importance of pro bono work as a key aspect of their work at HopgoodGanim. Each lawyer’s contribution to pro bono work is measured and taken into account in performance discussions, calculation of incentive payments and in fee relief. Full fee relief is achieved for all pro bono work undertaken over and above the national pro bono target of 35 hours per year. All graduate lawyers participate in different aspects of the program (including partnerships with LawRight, Caxton Legal Centre and the Federal Circuit Court) with the aim of developing the strength of the pro bono culture as they move into more senior roles within the firm. What benefits do you derive from undertaking pro bono work? Alexandra: There are multiple benefits derived from undertaking pro bono work, not the least of which is the ability to attract quality junior staff by offering them the flexibility to dedicate time to pro bono work. A junior practitioner describes the benefits of participation in the program by saying: “My first introduction to HG was through participation in a pro bono matter. That project had a huge influence on my career. Since joining the firm in 2015, I have had the opportunity to volunteer in diverse civil and administrative law matters under the supervision and mentorship of respected partners from across the firm, with whom I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to work. I derive great personal satisfaction in positively affecting people’s lives through our pro bono work.” If you think you may be interested in becoming involved LawRight’s Pro Bono Connect referral service, please contact Pro Bono Connect on 07 3248 1165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in the work of the QLS Access to Justice Pro Bono Committee, contact committee Chair Elizabeth Shearer by email email@example.com. Note 1 It is recommended that practitioners undertaking, or considering undertaking, discrete task work take the time to read the relevant guidance statement published by the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre. This article appears courtesy of the Queensland Law Society Access to Justice Pro Bono Committee. It includes contributions from LawRight Pro Bono Connect senior lawyer Rose Mackay, committee Deputy Chair and Fisher Dore Lawyers Principal Steve Herd, and committee Chair Elizabeth Shearer, who is Legal Practitioner Director at Shearer Doyle Law. PRO BONO firstname.lastname@example.org schultzlaw.com.au Sunshine Coast 07 5406 7405 Brisbane 07 3121 3240 Gold Coast 07 5512 6149 Travis Schultz Michael Callow What you need to do If this sounds like you and you want to work for a firm who puts people before profits then we would love to hear from you. Please forward a covering letter and your CV to our Practice Manager Kelly Phelps at email@example.com Looking to work at a firm that puts people before profits? Position Vacant - Compensation & Insurance Lawyer About us Travis Schultz Law is a boutique law firm specialising in areas of insurance and compensation law and we are looking for another lawyer to join our Sunshine Coast practice. We are a firm with a community conscience. We don’t believe in time costing or time recording and offer clients a lower than normal fee structure that has no uplift fees, no litigation lending arrangements and a low cap of costs. We insist on excellence in our work and want all of our lawyers to aim to become accredited specialists in time. About you You will be an early to mid-career lawyer that is seeking to work with experienced lawyers who are available to be a mentor, but also give you the freedom to take on responsibility as you hone your skills in this exciting area of law. You are focussed on achieving outstanding results for your client rather than on time costing or time recording. You will share our values, especially in our commitment to being a low- cost firm that offers high levels of expertise. You will be a team player, working alongside other talented lawyers, two accredited specialists, and a supportive and friendly team. You will like making a genuine difference and will be prepared to get involved with a number of community groups and local charities we support and offer pro bono work from time to time. And finally, you will want to be the best you can be at your chosen career and commit to ongoing professional development.