Law Access matches applications for pro bono legal assistance from individuals and not for profit organisations to lawyers. The means-tested service is designed to increase community access to justice and legal services where the application has legal merit and all other avenues of assistance such as Legal Aid and community legal centres have been exhausted. Law Access also identifies and refers matters of public interest with potential flow-on benefits for many more disadvantaged and marginalised Australians.
Thanks to the direct in-kind support received from its sponsors Law Access operates with low administrative overheads. The service is staffed by a Manager, a Principal Lawyer, part time secondee lawyers and law student volunteers.
The Law Access Pro Bono Referral Scheme was originally established by the Law Society of Western Australia in October 1992. The concept for the current Law Access service developed out of a feasibility study conducted by Kalico Consulting and funded by Lotterywest in 2013 – Doing the Public Good. A key recommendation in this report was the establishment of a single, efficient gateway for assessing applications for legal pro bono assistance.
Law Access Limited was established on 11 December 2014 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Law Society. From 1 July 2015 the Law Access Pro Bono Referral Scheme has been delivered by Law Access Limited, a public benevolent institution registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission.
The work of Law Access is informed by a Stakeholder Advisory Committee with representatives from a diverse group including the Courts, Legal Aid Western Australia, the Western Australian Bar Association, the Family Law Practitioners Association, community legal centres, university law schools and practitioner representatives from remote and regional areas as well as from small, medium and large firms.
The Law Access Board
The Hon Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC, Chairman and Director
Marshall McKenna, Director – Partner, Gilbert + Tobin
Elizabeth Needham, Director – Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers
Maria Saraceni, Director – Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers
Paula Wilkinson, Director – Director, Kim Wilson & Co
Eric Heenan, Director – Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers
Emma Griffiths-Blacklow, Director – Principal at Asociatii Commercial Lawyers
Eric Heenan, Director – Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers (retiring 31 December 2018)
Hayley Cormann, Director – Senior Associate at Clayton Utz
Matthew Howard SC, Director – Barrister Francis Burt Chambers (from 1 January 2019)
Shayla Strapps, Director – Director/Solicitor, Chisholm Law (from 1 January 2019)
We do not provide any face to face advice or accept applications in person.
Emailing us is the fastest and best method of contacting us.
Please be aware we do not provide any general advice over the phone or email.
Please email or post your completed application form using the details below:
Postal Address: PO Box Z5345, Perth WA 6831
Telephone hours for new callers: 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Telephone number for new callers: (08) 6488 6813
Facsimile: (08) 9324 8699
Make a difference with a bequest to Law Access
- Law Access Annual Report 2017-18
- Media release: Law Access welcomes major gift of $50,000 made by The McCusker Charitable Foundation.
- Law Access Receives Grant to Sustain Pro Bono Legal Service
- Media Release: Lawyers Volunteer their Skills and Time to Help Those in Need
- Law Access Annual Report 2016-17
- Media release: WA Legal Profession Walks The Talk
- Law Access Annual Report 2015-16
- Law Access Constitution
- Law Access Strategic Plan 2016-2019
- Doing the Public Good: a feasibility study of pro bono models for Western Australia by Kalico Consulting, 2013