LawRight December 2021

Thank you…

As our 20th year wraps up, thank you for your support and we wish you all a relaxed holiday. We hope you enjoyed the recent profile of LawRight in Proctor: LawRight – Celebrating 20 years of good pro bono – Proctor (

Annual Report Highlights

Your strategic pro bono efforts brings lasting and positive change for many vulnerable Queenslanders. Read the details in the Annual Report which also traces the history and highlights of each service over the last 20 years:

22,000 hours of pro bono legal services were delivered through LawRight -a significant decrease as covid restrictions limited our capacity to host pro bono students and professionals at each location but also enabled the efficiencies of volunteers working remotely. However, our pro bono partnerships at 22 courts, tribunals, community and health services continued to deliver outstanding impacts.

Here are five stories of pro bono persistence:

  • 90-year-old Bob owned a $100,000 share in a home with his son but family conflict forced him to leave his home and his belongings. Bob contacted his regional community legal service who wrote to his son but received no response, so they connected Bob to LawRight. A firm acted pro bono for over three years, taking Bob’s problem to the Supreme Court and negotiated a settlement to help Bob recover the money. Bob is now in a new home.
  • David had been sleeping rough for years but he built a good relationship with the 3rd Space pro bono lawyers and would often drop in for a chat and legal advice on different issues. When the council threatened to destroy his camp, David wanted to understand his rights. Through negotiations with the council, LawRight helped protect David’s camp while his application for housing was considered. David was prioritised and offered a suitable new home. He has re-located and remains happily housed.
  • Sam was a model prisoner and applied for parole, but by the time he was connected to LawRight, he’d been waiting 195 days for the Parole Board to make a decision – already 45 days longer than the law allowed. During the wait, his father had died and his mum became very ill, so Sam was anxious to care for her. Sam could read a bit but he couldn’t write, so pro bono lawyers helped him prepare and lodge an effective formal application to the Supreme Court to compel the Board to decide. LawRight provided 87 similar appointments to prisoners in 2021 as well as 177 self-help toolkits. We also collaborated with others to address the reasons for the delays.
  • “we’re there for the journey not the bandaid” according to financial counsellor, Natasha Ramsay who joined our Community and Health Justice Partnerships (CHJP) this year. With hours of persistent pro bono legal work, the CHJP facilitated the resolution of almost $1M of debts and fines which burdened our clients – people who experience homelessness, mental illness, are refugees or victims of sexual assault and are vulnerable to unfair or unlawful practices.
  • Over several years LawRight built trust and worked together to achieve a rare Forensic Order revocation. Karen is in her 70s but many years ago, during a relapse of her schizophrenia, she committed a minor property crime and reacted to the investigating police – due to her illness, she believed that they were trying to kidnap her. This resulted in assault charges and ultimately a Forensic Order. Karen has lived a very quiet life since and cooperated with her treating team but hasn’t moved off the Order as she is too anxious to attend Mental Health Review Tribunal hearings and won’t talk to LawRight staff for longer than 10 minutes. When she realized that a Forensic Order will limit her aged care support, Karen knew she could trust us and decided to try for a revocation. She succeeded even though the clinical evidence, client presentation and resistance from the Attorney-General have remained similar for some years. LawRight’s advocacy and persistence ultimately made the difference.

Red Wine for Justice

Mark your calendars now for Friday 18 February. Your tickets and donated wines have been safely cellared and we will issue reminders additional tickets in the new year.


The LawRight AGM was held on 22 November. We farewelled Katie Clark, Partner of MinterEllison who has been a member of the Management Committee since 2016 and are grateful to all new and continuing members of the Committee.

LawRight Management Committee
President – Roslyn Atkinson AO
Treasurer – Tony Denholder, Ashurst
Secretary – Gabriella Ritchie, McCullough Robertson
Tania Boal, MurphySchmidt
Stephen Knight, MinterEllison
Jacqueline Wootton, Herbert Smith Freehills
Francesca Bartlett, TC Beirne School of Law
Andrew Crowe QC, BAQ
Binny De Saram, QLS
Angela Rae of Counsel
Hamish Clift of Counsel