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Pro bono professionals

Pro bono professionals

By Steven Sapountsis

Professional Reputation 


During my term as LIV president, I have often mentioned the tremendous contributions of the Victorian legal profession in the provision of pro- bono legal services. At the Conference of Council in early February, we heard from firms providing pro bono services, including Salvos Legal. In various discussions since then, it has been put to me that many firms provide pro bono work only to satisfy a requirement of the government for the firm to remain on the panel to provide legal services to the government. I have requested from friends, colleagues and LIV members some examples of the pro bono work they do that is not related to the government panel obligation, and to show the breadth of free services offered. Small firms Aside from the direct services that individual lawyers and small firms donate to their clients and the community, a number of small firms become ambassadors for, or donators to, organisations such as International Justice Mission Australia. Khor Burr contributes, and invites other lawyers to contribute, an amount equal to one hour of their professional time to IJM projects, including training legal professionals in Uganda and combatting the growth of cybersex trafficking in the Philippines. There has been a dramatic increase in recent years in the prevalence of cybersex trafficking, with referrals to the Philippines National Police more than quadrupling since 2014. Victims are younger than those of traditional sex trafficking, with nearly six out of 10 of those rescued being pre-teen.

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