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:

Referrals

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.

Special clinics

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.

Training

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.

Law reform and policy

Opportunities also exist for your law firm to be involved in PILCH's law reform and public policy advocacy.

Fundraising

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.

See our 2008 membership brochure for further details.

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, you can download our application form, complete and return it to the PILCH Executive Director. All applications for membership need to be approved by the PILCH Board.

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.

To find out more about PILCH membership please download our membership pack. Alternatively, you can contact the PILCH Executive Director on 9225 6680 or at - Email Icon [email protected]