Law firm membership
What pro bono work can your law firm do with PILCH?
PILCH provides a diverse range of opportunities for involvement from law firms. These include:
Your law firm may wish to accept referrals of pro bono clients from PILCH in a range of areas of law including transactional matters for not-for-profit organisations (such as taxation, incorporation, property, employment law, intellectual property and insurance) or public interest matters such as systemic discrimination claims, coronial inquests, or matters affecting detained persons, such as prisoners, immigration detainees or persons with a mental illness. Acceptance is always based on the member's interest, expertise and capacity to accept a particular matter.
Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic
Your law firm may wish to become involved in the PILCH Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic, an outreach service through which volunteer lawyers from PILCH law firms and corporate legal departments deliver legal services to people experiencing homelessness. This unique outreach model has been an excellent opportunity for PILCH members to expand their pro bono programs.
Older Persons' Legal Clinic
Your law firm may wish to become involved in the Seniors Rights Victoria Older Persons' Legal Clinic, an outreach service through which volunteer lawyers from PILCH law firms and corporate legal departments deliver legal services to older people in the community. This is a new program of PILCH which will provide an excellent opportunity for PILCH members to expand their pro bono programs.
Your law firm may want to assist with training which PILCH offers to pro bono and community lawyers, or with the training program coordinated by PILCH connect, our specialist legal service for not-for-profit and community organisations.
Your law firm may wish to establish a secondee program in which your lawyers have the opportunity to spend a period of time seconded to PILCH learning about the public interest, making pro bono referrals and undertaking policy and law reform work. Secondments are a great opportunity for lawyers to build their legal and professional skills. If your law firm is interested in sending staff on secondment, detailed information and video testimonials are available at this link.
Law reform and policy
Opportunities also exist for your law firm to be involved in PILCH's law reform and public policy advocacy.
e.g. morning teas
Other in-kind support
We also offer opportunities for non-legal staff. In the past PILCH has benefited from great assistance from HR departments, graphic design assistance, library and resources, and general administrative assistance.
What are the benefits of PILCH membership?
Being a member of PILCH helps us to connect with the communities we hope to assist. PILCH has an extensive network through which it can identify areas of unmet legal need and a strong record of working effectively with its members to meet that need. PILCH provides a range of pro bono opportunities to suit our lawyers' different interests and abilities but the key to PILCH's success is that they are not opportunities for opportunities' sake but provide a chance for our lawyers to use their skills and experience where they are really needed.
- Anne Cregan, Partner, Blake Dawson
PILCH membership is affordable and caries a range of tangible benefits, including:
- Demonstration of the ethics and values of your law firm
- PILCH pro bono work is an ‘approved cause' under the Government Legal Services Contract
- PILCH is an excellent source of innovative pro bono opportunities
- Establishing an innovative pro bono program
- Professional development opportunities for lawyers
- Improved recruitment possibilities
- Increased staff satisfaction and retention
- The possibility of staff secondments to PILCH
- Law firm support for PILCH student fellowships
- Access to regular PILCH publications and media
- Potential tax deductibility.
What does your law firm need to do to become a member of PILCH?
Complete an application form
If your law firm would like to take up membership of PILCH, please contact us on 8636 4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pay the annual membership fee
Annual membership fees for law firms are calculated according to the number of partners in the firm’s Victorian office. Once the Board has approved a law firm’s application for PILCH membership, the law firm is invoiced for membership fees.