History of PILCH

In 1992, the Fitzroy Legal Service and the Consumer Law Centre of Victoria proposed to set up a Public Interest Pro Bono Clearing House in Melbourne that provided a formal referral mechanism for pro bono work, It was to be based on a successful scheme established in Sydney earlier that year (the current PILCH NSW) and modelled on similar organisations in the USA, in particular the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Pro Bono Clearinghouse.  

Solicitors and barristers had previously completed pro bono work for clients that had approached them directly, but this was generally done on an ad hoc and informal basis. PILCH aimed to provide a more structured system so that pro bono work by the legal profession could be channelled to those who truly needed and deserved it.