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A law student from ACU’s pro bono placement program undertakes a placement with Salvos Legal (ACU)

Australian Catholic University’s Thomas More Law School has received global recognition for its pro bono placement program, winning first prize in the Uniservitate Award.

The national law school’s Pro Bono Legal Service and Education Program has won one of two first-prize awards in the Asia and Oceania Uniservitate Hub. 

Winners of seven regional hubs globally receive €5000 ($8000) and an invitation for one academic and one student to attend the fifth Uniservitate Global Symposium in Rome. 

The winners will also have a private audience with Pope Francis during the symposium.

The Thomas More Law School will receive the award at a regional ceremony at Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan, on September 25.

Law lecturer and national coordinator of the Pro Bono Program, Ian Lam, said the Thomas More Law School was honoured to receive global recognition from Uniservitate. 

Mr Lam, who is also undertaking research into the benefits of community service for training future lawyers, said many complex community problems intersected with legal matters.

“ACU staff and students are not confined by legal boundaries but possess a deeper concern for the disadvantaged,” Mr Lam said.

“Our compulsory pro bono placement makes ACU a pioneer in integrating legal education with community service in Australia.”

Established in 2014, the Thomas More Law School pro bono program supports about 250 students annually across three Australian capital cities to provide supervised legal service to individuals and communities experiencing disadvantage.

As part of the program, all ACU law undergraduate students are required to undertake 80 hours of pro bono placements in law firms or with leading barristers, community legal centres, NGOs, government departments or social justice agencies. This contributes more than 20,000 hours of pro bono legal service every year.


ACU’s unique pro bono placement program wins Uniservitate Award (ACU)