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Pro Bono Scheme

The Pro Bono Scheme unites firms willing to provide pro bono assistance for disadvantaged members of the community in need of legal services.

The Pro Bono Scheme operates on the basis that pro bono work includes legal services provided on a free or substantially reduced fee basis for people who cannot afford a solicitor and are NOT eligible for Legal Aid.

Funded by the Public Purpose Fund, the Scheme has been running since 1992 and refers eligible applicants to Pro Bono solicitors across the state every year. The Scheme has well-established links with other pro bono referral organisations, pro bono departments in large firms, and the NSW Bar Association.

Benefits for firms

  • Convenient – cases matched according to a firm’s location and areas of expertise.
  • Time-saving – the Scheme provides firms with a case summary, including a chronology of events and legal documents.
  • Supportive – the Scheme may be able to assist with the photocopying of documents.
  • No obligation – the decision to accept a matter is at the discretion of the firm.
  • Cost-effective – certain expenses related to a referred matter may be reimbursed on application to the Pro Bono Disbursement Trust Fund.
  • Peer recognition – join a community of fellow solicitors committed to pro bono work and expand contacts with networking opportunities.

Further information about the benefits of Pro Bono work can be found on our Handy Hints for Pro Bono lawyers page.

Application process

For more information about the eligibility requirements and application procedures for members of the public go to the Pro Bono Scheme page in the For the Community section of this website.


  • Pro Bono Scheme
  • Law Society of NSW
  • Level 5, 170 Phillip Street
  • Sydney NSW 2000
  • DX 362 Sydney
  • T: (02) 9926 0379
  • F: (02) 9231 5809