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Pro bono highlight - Caxton Legal Centre

At HopgoodGanim we understand the importance of making meaningful contributions to the community, and helping those in need. In addition to our community sponsorships and volunteer work, we provide legal advice on a pro bono basis through a number of formal partnerships and programs.

Across Australia there are approximately 200 community legal centres offering legal advice to low income or disadvantaged community members. These centres rely heavily on Government funding to operate and are under the constant threat of funding cuts. In good news for the industry, last week’s Federal budget confirmed the reversal of the previously announced funding cuts and included an additional $39 million in funding for community legal centres. The reality is that many of the centres would have had to close their doors, or offer drastically reduced services, had the funding cuts not been reversed.

One of HopgoodGanim’s formal pro bono partnerships is with the Brisbane-based Caxton Legal Centre (Caxton). As a community legal centre, Caxton’s vision is to “build a just and inclusive society that values difference and diversity and the rights of all people and their communities to the social and economic resources they need to exercise their human rights; to influence the development of law to recognise the needs of people who are socially or economically disadvantaged; and to assist people who would otherwise be denied access to justice due to social or economic disadvantage to exercise their legal rights.”

When designing particular aspects of the HopgoodGanim pro bono program, we very carefully selected partners who shared similar values and aspirations. Caxton was chosen because of its reputation for delivering access to justice, and the diligence and commitment of their staff.

Through our exclusive family law partnership with Caxton, two lawyers from our first-tier family law team attend Thursday evening advice sessions every week to provide advice to members of the community who can’t otherwise access it. We also offer written advices to Caxton lawyers on technical areas of the law, and a phone a friend service for second opinions and other less complex queries. We aim to expand and develop our partnership with Caxton in coming years, including offering expert advice in other areas of law including elder law and employment law.

HopgoodGanim Family Law Partner Rachael Murray advocates for all lawyers to play a part in the provision of pro bono legal advice to the best of their ability.

“Our pro bono program is a critical component of the fabric of HopgoodGanim. We recognise that everyone is entitled to access quality legal advice, regardless of their financial position. Those who can afford to pay for legal services should, but those who cannot shouldn’t be disadvantaged. HopgoodGanim plays our part to ensure that no one falls through the cracks”.

“I’m incredibly proud of the pro bono program that we have developed at HopgoodGanim, and feel lucky to work alongside partners who value this very meaningful work. Our partnership with Caxton is at the heart of the success of our pro bono program at HopgoodGanim and we look forward to working with and supporting Caxton for years to come”.