b'BACK TO NAVIGATIONAt Law FirmsThe role of pro bono legal work in Australia has become increasingly visible both within the legal profession and the community. An ever-increasing number of law firms, solicitors, barristers and in-house legal teams have become signatories to the National Pro Bono Target (the Target), managed by the Australian Pro Bono Centre (the Centre). The Target, alongside the growing expectations of government and corporate clients, are factors that have increased the number of structured pro bono programs within firms and in-house legal teams. Through these programs, lawyers are supported and encouraged to undertake pro bono legal work for socially disadvantaged and marginalised persons and the organisations that support them.The Centre has worked with AusLSA to incorporate pro bono program information into its Sustainability Framework since 2015. The Centre oversees the Target, which provides the most frequently used measure of pro bono performance in Australia. Law firm signatories agree to use their best efforts to provide at least 35 hours of pro bono legal services per lawyer per year.The Centre opened the Target on 1 July 2020 to in-house legal signatories who commit to using their best endeavours to achieve at least 20 hours of pro bono legal services per in-house lawyer per year. Since the Target was established in 2007 the number of Target signatories has increased from 58 to 270, including 29 in-house target signatories. Signatories to the Target now cover 16,435 FTE lawyers who conducted a total of 641,966 hours of pro bono legal work in FY2021. Signatories undertook an average of 39.7 pro bono hours per lawyer (which is equivalent to 357 lawyers working full time for one year, according to the 14th Annual Performance Report of the Target). The 14th Annual Target report, which covers a significant period affected by the bushfire disaster, the east coast floods, the west coast disasters and the COVID pandemic, finds that in FY2021 the total pro bono hours undertaken by signatories increased by 16.4 percent, and the number of lawyers covered by the Target increased by four percent, when compared to FY2020. 2021 AusLSA Member PerformanceThis years AusLSA results demonstrates a strong stable commitment to the delivery of pro bono legal services amongst AusLSAs members. Anecdotally, members have been reporting a higher interest from staff in participating in the firms programs to support natural disaster recovery and the pandemic response.All AusLSA law firm reporting members indicated that they havea formally endorsed pro bono strategy in place or in development. All but one of these firms had a formally appointed person responsible for implementing this strategy and reporting back to the firms leadership team. The most popular pro bono program management approach amongst AusLSA members is leadership by a partner in the firm, which has increased from 46 to 75 percent in the last three years. Eighty-six percent of all AusLSA members are signatories to the Target (an increase from 81 percent last year), with 50 percent of those members currently meeting the Target and a further 15 percent setting goal dates within which to achieve it.ASPIRATIONAL TARGET SIGNATORY TARGET PROGRESSYes 86% No 14% Target currently met 50% Goal date has been set 15%No date currently set 35%49'