: Practicing certificate changes to increase pro bono

Practicing certificate changes to increase pro bono

James Farrell

The Victorian government has introduced legislation that will allow more Victorian legal practitioners to assist the community through pro bono legal advice and assistance.

The Legal Profession and Public Notaries Amendment Act 2012 will amend the Legal Profession Act 2004 to remove restrictions that currently prevent corporate legal practitioners from volunteering their services for pro bono legal work other than with community legal centres.

Organisations including the Public Interest Law Clearing House, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Australian Corporate Lawyers’ Association had been lobbying for the changes to allow ‘in-house’ lawyers who work for businesses, governments or community organisations to provide the same range of pro bono assistance to the community as lawyers engaged in other forms of legal practice.

The government estimates that the arrangements will allow up to 2700 legal practitioners who hold corporate practicing certificates to engage in pro bono work on the same basis as other practitioners.

JAMES FARRELL is a lecturer at the Deakin University School of Law.

(2012) 37(2) AltLJ 138
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