Business Desk: Big Law’s pro bono efforts lack sophistication

Aotearoa Legal Workers’ Union co-president Tess Upperton (pictured above) said the treatment of pro bono hours varied from firm to firm, but this move was a “promising step”.

“But I would say that pro bono reveals the flaws in the billable-hours model from the start. “Hopefully this move recognises that junior lawyers are under significant time pressure and [while] the idea of pro bono is great, as a union we aren’t going to support people doing pro bono if it's in their free or spare time.”

Upperton added that more pro bono funding should go toward community law and charities which fund key legal services so that people who can’t afford them benefit, rather than to law-firm partners’ passion projects or hobbies.

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