Law Access Media Release
in collaboration with Women’s Legal Service WA and thanks to Perpetual Impact Philanthropy
Law Access has received a Perpetual Impact Philanthropy grant to support the Family Law Project – Women’s Pilot. The project will design and deliver a service provision model for the delivery of unbundled pro bono legal services to vulnerable women who need advice and representation in family law matters.
For many years, Law Access’ ability to place family law matters with pro bono lawyers has met with significant challenges. Family Law matters can be complex, resource intense, relationally difficult, and long-lasting. The ask on pro bono lawyers who volunteer their time to assist vulnerable applicants without charging their usual fees is very high. There is also a limited pool of family lawyers to draw upon to be able to provide end-to-end services.
The Law Access Family Law Project has been developing a service model for unbundled legal services in areas of Family Law in collaboration with regional CLCs.
The Women’s Pilot will see this model adapted and rolled out to vulnerable women who seek assistance from Women’s Legal Service WA. The Women’s Legal Service lawyers will be the first port of call for women seeking assistance. Where appropriate, the lawyers will then be able to request legal assistance from a member of the private profession to assist with a specific brief for a limited scope of service. The private practitioner will assist with that scope at no charge and then return the client to the community legal centre for on-going holistic support.
Applications can be made at different stages along the journey through the legal system, maximizing the potential of both the community legal services and the contribution that can be made by the private profession.
Some service bundles will be suitable only to family lawyers with sufficient expertise and experience, but other scopes of work may be helpfully completed by lawyers with other skills or more generalist areas of expertise. It is hoped that the private profession will be enthusiastic in their support for this innovation.
Chief Executive Officer
12 July 2023