The National Pro Bono Resource Centre is an Australian independent, non profit organisation that encourages pro bono legal services and helps lawyers help the neediest of the needy.ï¿½ It is based in the UNSW Law Faculty and is conducting in 2007 a national survey of lawyers and their pro bono activities in three parts in each State and Territory: a survey of individual solicitors, law firms and barristers.
An online survey instrument has now been released seeking responses from barristers on a range of questions relating to pro bono legal work being done in New South Wales.ï¿½ This survey has been endorsed by the Australian Bar Association.
The survey is anonymous and should take participants no more than 10 minutes to complete.ï¿½ It will provide valuable information to the Bar association and community at large about the pro bono work done by barristers in NSW.ï¿½ Pro bono work is an important part of practice often overlooked by the public and even if you have done little or no pro bono legal work in the past 12 months, your attitude and opinions on this issue, whether negative or positive, are crucial to the success of the survey.
Information collected in these surveys will be published by the Centre and made available to each bar association.ï¿½ It is proposed to hold these surveys every 2 years so as to provide a longitudinal picture of pro bono activity.
Data collected in the survey will be used:
- To provide information to the public about the great contribution that barristers make to helping those in need.
- To provide information to government about the pro bono contribution that barristers make (in particular areas of practice) to help them to develop policy and set funding levels for legal aid services.
- To raise the visibility amongst barristers of the professional obligation of lawyers to undertake pro bono work, and encouraging others in the bar to do so by providing models of good practice.
- To improve accessibility to pro bono services to those persons who need them.
- To identify barriers and constraints to the delivery of pro bono legal services with a view to reducing or removing these.
The survey is instituted by the National Pro Bono Resource Centre and conducted in conjunction with the NSW Bar Association. The survey is available at http://www.ys2.net.au/surveys/Y70531\_NSW.asp
Members with questions regarding the survey can contact Mr Alastair McConnachieï¿½ at the Bar Association on 02 9232 4055, or the National Pro Bono Resource centre on 02 9385 7381 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A strong response rate will be crucial to the success of the project in this state â all members are encouraged to respond.ï¿½ï¿½ Moreover, as a measure of our thanks for taking part in the survey, 6 bottles of Wirra Wirra Church Block 2004 red wine will be given to the respondent in NSW who provides the best answer to the competition questionï¿½ : "What is a collective noun for a group of pro bono lawyers? ", which is included in the survey .
28 September 2007