Our legal staff provide pro bono assistance on matters for community and non-profit organisations and volunteer at free legal clinics to help disadvantaged members of the community.
One of our key objectives is to harness the legal skills and experience of our lawyers to benefit the community. We believe that giving pro bono advice to vulnerable and disadvantaged people is part of fulfilling our professional responsibility and helps to improve access to justice. We value this contribution by our lawyers and treat the time they spend on pro bono work as equal to billable work.
TalkLaw® is an Australian community legal education initiative, which is delivered nationally, that targets Year 10 students in areas with high migrant backgrounds and/or disadvantage. TalkLaw® builds legal knowledge in the community by educating young people of their rights and obligations on a range of topics that may disproportionately affect them. The project is currently delivered in 9 schools with 3 of our commercial clients.
The Cyberlaw Project is a national partnership which has existed between KWM and Youth Law Australia since 2007. The Cyberlaw Project involves KWM employees from each of its five Australian offices, together with KWM clients from ASIC, Microsoft and Telstra, volunteering their time to prepare draft answers to legal questions that are sent to NCYLC by email from children and young people aged under 25. The power of this project is to reach children & young people in remote, regional and rural communities across Australia. In 2017, volunteers from KWM and our commercial clients answered around 1000 questions through the Cyberlaw Project. Those questions covered a wide range of areas of law, including civil and administrative, criminal and family law as well as queries regarding legal processes and general information.
Through our Impact Masterclass Project, KWM provides training and workshops on a wide range of legal topics to our community clients so as to enable them to build their capacity to deal more effectively with legal issues as they emerge and provide practical guidance on when to seek expert pro bono assistance from firms such as ours. KWM’s training and workshops focus on legal issues and trends in the community sector and provides our community partners with up-to-date skills and knowledge they need. This project combines hands-on legal training with practical case studies (based on documents and situations our community partners deal with every day), in a collaborative and friendly environment The training and workshops also provide superb networking opportunities and the sharing of best practices in the community sector.
The project operates under two streams: 1. Community Sector Stream (Part direct teaching module, part facilitated discussion/round table forum) and 2. Indigenous Specialist Stream (Specialist stream supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs and social enterprises whose sole or primary purpose is to work in the interests of low income or disadvantaged members of the community or for the public good).
KWM proudly operates a range of pro bono legal clinics across Australia. Under the clinic model, KWM lawyers (and in some instances, our commercial clients) help community legal organisations to provide legal assistance to their clients in areas of unmet legal need. KWM currently runs 22 clinics all across Australia.