Q&A with Barbara Lim, W+K Perth Solicitor & Pro Bono Coordinator
In our next Q&A with W+K staff who are helping to drive our Community Footprint Program, we talk to Barbara Lim – Solicitor and Pro Bono Coordinator in our Perth office.
Why are you involved in our Community Footprint Program?
Pro bono work gives you the chance to give back to the community in an area where many people cannot afford to pay for or access legal assistance. These people are often the particularly vulnerable members of society and in most need of assistance. As a profession, I think we all have a responsibility to strive towards ensuring equal access to justice, regardless of a person’s background.
What pro bono projects are W+K Perth currently involved in? Tell us a bit about the impact of this work.
W+K Perth’s current pro bono focus is the Subiaco Justice Centre (SJC). SJC is aimed at providing legal services to those who cannot afford to pay for it. It ensures access to justice for all community members by providing guidance and support on a pro bono basis. SJC operates a weekly clinic on Monday and Wednesday nights and is open to people seeking advice relating to general law, family law and elder law. W+K’s Perth team regularly volunteer in the General Law Clinic and look forward to expanding its involvement to the Elder Law Clinic over 2019. Our Perth partner, Will Robinson has also been an integral member on the SJC board and assisted in establishing the organisation from the ground up.
SJC is an important initiative to W+K Perth and it promotes the values and morals upheld by the team as a whole. We are looking forward to expanding our involvement through 2019.
What benefit do W+K Perth lawyers derive from involvement in pro bono work?
The satisfaction of helping others who may not be as privileged as we are, or who have been dealt a tough hand in life. Coming from a generalist background, it’s also a great way to continue to apply my knowledge/skills in areas of law that I wouldn’t otherwise utilise in insurance law.
Why do you think others should get involved?
Pro bono is a fantastic opportunity for lawyers to work in other areas of law which they might not ordinarily be exposed to in the commercial sphere. Most recently, our lawyers have provided advice in relation to fencing disputes, VROs and dog attacks.
For junior lawyers in particular, it’s a great way to learn new skills or build on existing skills, and become a more rounded lawyer. It’ s also a way you can utilise your “soft skills” and what you have learned throughout university and practice to help someone navigate through the legal system.
Most importantly, the ability to provide support to others in our professional capacity is an incredibly rewarding experience and can go a long way to supporting others in a time of need!
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