Wisewould Mahony has a burgeoning pro bono practice, driven by the primary objective of assisting disadvantaged or vulnerable people, and community organisations who assist those people. We facilitate this objective through partnerships with community organisations where we feel that our lawyer’s skills can be best utilised. Detailed below are 4 of our partnerships and the kinds of work we do through each partnership.
Wisewould Mahony provides two lawyers to Job Watch once a week for four months as secondees. The secondees assist with the telephone advice line and provide telephone assistance and written advice to individuals who have booked appointments through Job Watch.
The secondees assist in employment matters that generally involve:
- Unfair and constructive dismissal.
- General Protections.
The firm is a member firm of Justice Connect and accepts referrals from Justice Connect to assist individuals or community organisations where we have the relevant legal expertise. Some examples of matters the firm has worked on are:
- Advice to a not for-profit on the application of Australia OH&S law extraterritorially.
- Advice to various not-for profits on vaccination requirements for staff, volunteers and the community members who use the organisations’ services.
- Advice to not-for-profits on responding to subpoenas or requests for information.
- Assisting an individual with a potential claim in relation to misuse of a power of attorney and elder abuse by the individual’s child.
- Providing advice to a worker on her maternity leave entitlements.
- Providing DGR status advice and application assistance to charitable organisations.
South-East Monash Legal Service (SMLS)
Wisewould Mahony’s relationship with SMLS is still in its infancy, but the firm is currently assisting SMLS with a briefing paper looking into defamation claims being made in response to allegations of sexual harm. This involves looking at the law surrounding defamation and case summaries.
The issue of defamation and sexual assault has been front of mind for legislatures, with NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria introducing changes to their defamation laws in July 2021. The briefing paper is aimed to enable SMLS to make informed decisions as to the next steps it will take with respect to this issue, and in assisting individual clients facing these issues.
The firm is part of the Youthlaw Legal Pod Program which pairs a young person with a background in out of home care with 3-4 lawyers for up to three years. Wisewould Mahony currently has seven lawyers assisting two clients. The kinds of legal issues our lawyers have had to deal with include:
- Fines and debt that the young person is unable to afford.
- Requests for freedom of information of the young person’s records whilst they were in care.
- Information and advice relating to applications for IVOs.
- Advice relating to loss of driver’s license.
We have lawyers with expertise in a number of areas of law and we take seriously the responsibility to use those skills to assist disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.