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Are We Really a Pro Bono Law Firm?



In The Sunday Age this weekend, I was featured in an article about the lack of Justices of the Peace in the centre of Melbourne. Here is the article titled "Why it is almost impossible to find a justice of the peace in the city."


In the article, journalist Simon Brook writes: "... one man set up his own pro bono firm to assist people with legal matters after he tried nine times in a single afternoon to get an affidavit signed."


That man, of course, is me.


While it is true that at Peter Macmillan & Associates we do a lot of pro bono (or free) legal work for people, we also charge for some of our services, mainly our Notary Public work. So we are not just a pro bono law firm.


Are we predominantly a pro bono law firm? Right now, I'd say yes, definitely.


I love the work we do, although as I noted in Simon Brook's article, helping people in very stressful situations involving family violence or bitter divorces can be very hard work for us emotionally as well as intellectually.


Only a couple of months' ago I realised that the fact I am doing this work for free, probably means it is what I am meant to be doing. Obviously, I'm not doing it for the money!


I have rarely experienced the depth of satisfaction I feel when enabling people to get past difficult legal situations, and then move on with their lives after thinking they would never get to the other side of the overwhelming obstacles in their way.


Just today, I had a young woman who was applying to get her NDIS clearance so she could volunteer to work with Down Syndrome people. She inspired me, and I told her how pleased I was to be able to help her by certifying her ID documents and witnessing her declaration.


No need to pay me for that! : )

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