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
Adam Ebell, Chairperson and Director – State Prosecutor, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Western Australia
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
Telephone: (08) 9324 8600
Postal Address: M249 / The University of Western Australia/ 35 Stirling Highway/ Crawley Western Australia 6009
Please note that Law Access does not provide a walk-in service at this address