The University of Newcastle, Australia

Pro bono services

“Pro bono” originates from the Latin phrase “pro bono publico”, which means “for the public good”.

In pursuit of the public good, the Newcastle Law School’s Legal Centre provides free legal services to the community.

In 2019:

116 law students
105 hours Pro Bono work by each student
12,180 hours free legal assistance to the community

Fourth year Bachelor of Laws students and second year Juris Doctor Diploma students are actively engaged in the provision of free legal assistance under the close supervision of in-house lawyers.

In addition to pro bono work through the University of Newcastle Legal Centre, students also provide pro bono legal services during their placements in organisations including Disability Advocacy, Legal Aid, Aboriginal Legal Service and Hunter Community Legal Centre.

The aim of the Law School’s pro bono work commitment is to:

  1. Provide legal assistance free of charge to:
    • individuals who can demonstrate a need for legal assistance but cannot obtain Legal Aid or access the legal system without incurring significant financial hardship
    • individuals or organisations whose concern raises an issue of public interest
    • organisations (e.g. charities, not-for-profit organisations or social enterprises), that work in the interests of low income or disadvantaged members of the community, or for the public good;
  2. Provide free community legal education on issues affecting low income or disadvantaged members of the community or on issues of public interest
  3. Conduct law reform and policy work on issues affecting low income or disadvantaged members of the community, or on issues of public interest
  4. Provide student placements in community organisations (including community legal organisations) to assist in legal work.