The Bar Association of Queensland (BAQ) is a founding member of QPILCH, and encourages all members of the Bar to become involved to the greatest extent possible.
Become a QPILCH member
Your involvement will broaden our member base, provide critical financial support to QPILCH and enable us to more effectively target the pro bono commitment of the Queensland profession.
Click here to apply online to become a QPILCH member.
(For more information see our membership brochure linked in side bar to the right.)
Sign up to receive referrals of pro bono work
QPILCH has operated a Public Interest Referral Service since 2001 and, since 2009, has managed Pro Bono Referral Services for both the Queensland Law Society (QLS) and the BAQ, bringing the management of all pro bono requests for assistance in civil law matters under one roof.
These services together receive an average of 500 applications for pro bono assistance a year, of which approximately one third are deemed eligible for pro bono assistance. Firms and barristers accept referrals of pro bono work when they have expertise, capacity and interest in the referral.
Public interest cases are referred through the Public Interest Referral Service to QPILCH member firms and barristers. Other cases, involving people experiencing hardship with meritorious legal issues, are referred through the Bar Pro Bono Referral Service which is run in conjunction with the QLS Pro Bono Referral Service. All BAQ members can participate in this service.
Click here to register online to participate in the Bar Pro Bono Referral Service.
Barristers who accept pro bono referrals may provide opinions in complex matters, represent clients (instructed by a firm or on a direct brief basis), or assist clients to mediate and resolve matters out of court. Barristers may also provide advice and representation to other community legal centres and not-for-profit organisations.
For more information about the type of work undertaken by barristers through QPILCH's pro bono programs, see the snapshot linked below.
Self Representation Service and Magistrates Court Service
The QPILCH Self Representation Service, which operates in QCAT, the Queensland Court of Appeal, the Supreme and District Courts of Queensland, and the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court, presents further opportunity for barristers to undertake pro bono work. The Self Representation Service is supported by specialist panels, including a Mediation Panel, Court of Appeal Advice Panel and Tribunal Representation Panel, to which member barristers are encouraged to join.
The Magistrates Court Service is a joint initiative of QPILCH and the BAQ. Through this service, barristers assist litigants in civil matters in the Brisbane registry of the Magistrates Court. Barristers assess applications, and where they determine a matter has merit, QPILCH will attempt to find a member law firm to instruct the barrister.
What are the benefits of being involved?
The benefits of being involved in QPILCH's pro bono programs are many, including:
- improved relationships with senior members of the Bar and national and local law firms which undertake pro bono work;
- improved relationships with clients who value practitioners' pro bono commitments;
- access to support, when required (in direct brief cases or otherwise), from senior members of the Bar and law firms already involved in QPILCH's pro bono programs;
- access to senior law students who can assist with research and other tasks;
- the opportunity to engage in pro bono work which is targeted, addresses unmet legal needs, and effects systemic change;
- the opportunity to gain experience, including court experience, and improve skills; and
- the opportunity to contribute to a positive image of the profession to build public confidence in lawyers and the justice system generally.