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Pro bono: one-stop-shop

Briefs

Cite as: (2003) 77(7) LIJ, p.14

The combining of three Victorian pro bono schemes should provide easier access to pro bono and improve efficiencies.

The Law Institute’s Legal Assistance Scheme (LAS) has joined the pro bono schemes of the Victorian Bar and Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) under one administration.

At the launch of the new arrangement, which had been successfully trialed for six months, state Attorney-General Rob Hulls said the centralised management arrangement for administering pro bono was a national first.

“It will make it far easier for members of the public to seek pro bono assistance and for the legal sector at large to refer matters to one central location.

“The Law Institute and PILCH are to be congratulated for initiating such a progressive and consumer-friendly arrangement,” Mr Hulls said.

Institute president Bill O’Shea said the new arrangement was a symbol of Victorian solicitors reaffirming their commitment to pro bono services.

LAS, which has been operating since April 1999, is a pro bono service of last resort for people financially unable to secure legal services.

It arranges free legal services from a pool of volunteer solicitors across Victoria in all areas of law. There are currently almost 400 solicitors on the LAS books.

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