The 8th Annual Performance Report based on the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target has recently been released by The Australian Pro Bono Centre and shows Australian lawyers are giving back by performing pro-bono work.
The Performance Report is Based On
This Report was compiled using data received from 77 participating Australian legal firms, all of which agreed to pour their energies into achieving the goal of 35 hours of pro-bono legal work per lawyer, per year.
Which Law Firms Are Performing Best in Achieving Pro-Bono Targets for the Year 2014 - 2015?
Big Firms Lead the Way
The Australian Pro Bono Centre has identified large legal firms, with a staff of over 450 lawyers, are leading the pack in hitting pro-bono targets. 7 out of 9 of Australia’s most prominent, heavyweight law firms have met or exceeded this 35 hour per lawyer, per year goal.
“In a tightening legal services market, it is a tribute to the dedication of these firms that they have maintained and grown their pro bono programs despite today’s competitive challenges,” praised John Corker, director of the Australian Pro Bono Centre.
Mid-Tiers Are Growing Their Pro-Bono Side of Work
While only 3 out of the 10 participating mid-size firms (those with 201 – 449 lawyers) hit or exceeded the 35 hour goal, they did experience the most growth of pro-bono work.
6 of these 10 mid-tiers report the time allocated to pro-bono work grew by 20% per lawyer for the year 2014 to 2015.
What Does This All Mean?
If we get to the crux of the matter, the report shows that participating law firms completed a total of 372, 602 hours of pro-bono labour. To paint a clearer picture – this would equate to 207 legal professionals working full-time for an entire year solely on pro-bono work.
How Can This Report Prove Useful for Law Firms?
The Report concludes that while Australia’s legal field is heading in the right direction, there is still much room for pro-bono growth.
Using these findings law firms can benchmark themselves against their competition to gain an understanding of what’s currently happening in pro-bono within Australia and where it looks to be headed.