Pro-bono services – what does that mean? 

November 8, 2023




As lawyers, we know how important it is to have access to quality legal services, especially when you are facing a challenging situation. However, we also understand that not everyone can afford to hire a lawyer, particularly a lot of the not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand. Not-for-profit organisations don’t operate for profit, personal gain or other benefit of particular people. The money earned or donated is used to achieve the organisation's objectives and pay its running costs. That is why we think it is especially important to help keep their running costs down by providing pro bono legal services.

‘Pro bono’ is a Latin term that means "for the public good". It refers to the practice of providing free or low-cost legal services to people who need them, but cannot pay for them. For us, here in New Zealand, it is governed by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (LCA), which sets out the rules and responsibilities for any lawyers who want to provide pro bono services.

Pro bono services can cover many legal areas, such as civil, criminal, family, employment, immigration, human rights, and environmental law. These services can also involve different activities, such as giving legal advice, representation, education, research, or advocacy. Pro bono services can also benefit the community by promoting social justice, equality, and access to justice.

We believe that pro bono services are not only a professional duty, but also personally rewarding for all of us here at Treadwell Gordon. It is our opportunity to give back to the community. We enjoy using our skills and experience to help people who are in need of legal assistance, and to make positive differences. We find pro bono work rewarding and fulfilling and we’re proud to be doing our bit to help those who are helping people in our communities.