Bond University


This paper proposes a solution for law schools seeking to enhance access to justice in their communities, but with inadequate resources to divert towards fully-fledged clinical legal education (CLE) programs. The solution, it is suggested, is a student lead initiative based on a Canadian model entitled Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC). Australia boasts a number of excellent educational programs which incorporate a pro bono ethic; however, these are extremely resource intensive and often beyond the reach of law schools grappling with reduced government funding and other budgetary challenges. Confronted with similar resource constraints, Canada has not only recognised the benefits of involving students in access to justice initiatives, but has also taken steps to strategically align them with national pro bono objectives. It is argued that the creation of a Pro Bono Students Australia – a highly visible and formulated pro bono program - would allow both lawyers and law students alike to put the ideals of justice, equity and accessibility into practice.