Our people are passionate about making a positive difference to our community and our environment. We are committed to helping those who are disadvantaged, through our involvement in pro bono legal work and the services and support we provide to the community. We also have a pledge to lessen our impact on our environment, with a commitment to sustainable business practices.
As foundation member of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA), we are proud to be a leader in the development and implementation of sustainable business practices in the professional services sector and we are focused on maintaining that lead.
We are committed to further investment in our pro bono and community programs with a strong focus on developing strategic approaches to address unmet legal need in our community.
Read on to find out more, or download 'Imagine', our 2016 sustainability report for a deeper dive into what we've been up to and the progress we've been making. 'Imagine' is a transparent account of our goals, our performance and our challenges.
For well over a decade HDY’s Community Spirit Program has been addressing the community’s need for pro bono services, financial assistance and volunteer support.
At HDY, we see pro bono legal work as an essential part of a lawyer's professional responsibility.
We believe that as lawyers we need to ensure that the justice system is accessible to everyone in our community, and in particular to those who are vulnerable and unable to readily access legal services.
We are focused on building and embedding within the firm a strong commitment to pro bono that addresses unmet legal needs in our community.
Since 2009, our lawyers have provided close to 34,000 hours of pro bono legal work, to the value of more than $12,000,000. This year, HDY’s pro bono practice accounted for 2% of the firm’s total revenue with 72% of our lawyers participating in the pro bono program.
Our pro bono program focuses on:
- Preparing law reform submissions for not-for-profit organisations and community legal centres on various public interest issues. We recently prepared submissions on issues such as children in immigration detention, defence of provocation, sentencing laws and statutory limitations in child sexual abuse.
- Acting for disadvantaged individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal advice and are not eligible for legal aid.
- Supporting our pro bono referrals agencies such as the Cancer Council, Arts Law and Justice Connect by taking on a variety of pro bono referrals.
- Committing to outreach advice clinics such as the Homeless Persons Legal Service (HPLS), Redfern Legal Centre (RLC), Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC), Migrant Outreach Service Advice, Information and Community Education (MOSAIC) and Justice Connect's Self Representation Service.
- Collaborating with and supporting not-for-profit and public interest organisations such as the Public Interest Law Advocacy Centre (PIAC), Whitelion and the Homicide Victims Support Group (HVSG) effectively achieve their community support objectives.
- Developing pro bono projects and collaborations focused on providing unique solutions to addressing unmet legal needs.
We support a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations, including Bowel Cancer Australia, the House of Welcome, Smith Family, Open Family Australia and Taronga Zoo. Our people have also continued their longstanding commitment to the youth mentorship program LEAPS.
Over the last few years we've made great strides in reducing our impact on the environment. We take steps to minimise our environmental footprint through continuous improvement programs that reduce energy, resource use and waste disposal.
We are pleased to report that in June 2016 we renewed our Environmental Management System (EMS) Certification under the Australian Legal Sector Alliance 'AEMS' program.
HDY was the first AusLSA firm to complete this certification in 2014, which acknowledges our projects and performance with respect to managing our environmental impacts. Our renewed certification remains valid until June 2018.
Our Environmental Policy is publicly available and can be downloaded here.