A lawyer who has represented thousands of vulnerable children and a legal service rescuing victims of unscrupulous lenders are among the winners of the Attorney General’s Community Service Law Awards for 2020.
The awards, expanded this year to include a category for commercial law firms, were presented by Attorney General John Quigley today to recognise and celebrate the pro bono work being done in Western Australia.
Independent children’s lawyer Julia Johnston won the Individual Award for her decades of work protecting children in need as a legal counsel and an adviser to non-profit legal services and refuges, including a lifelong association with family services provider Wanslea.
The Not-For-Profit Award was shared between the Citizens Advice Bureau of WA – which provides low-cost advice and mediation services to those most in need – and the Consumer Credit Legal Service, the State’s only community legal centre focused on consumer and financial rights.
The new Legal Firm Award also had two winners: Corrs Chambers Westgarth and migration specialists Estrin Saul Lawyers. Both were cited for the considerable pro bono services they have provided.
Mr Quigley presented the awards in a ceremony at the David Malcolm Justice Centre in Perth.
The awards are in their 14th year. Usually announced during Law Week in May, they were postponed this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
As stated by Attorney General John Quigley:
“I warmly congratulate the deserving winners of this year’s Community Service Law Awards.
“These awards highlight the importance of pro bono and community legal services in making the justice system more fair and equitable.
“The work being done by these firms and lawyers makes a huge difference in ensuring that vulnerable people can access the legal advice and representation that they need.
“Individual Award winner Julia Johnston has devoted much of a 40-year career to protecting children at risk. The time she has spent helping not-for-profit groups is just as laudable.
“Both the Citizens Advice Bureau of WA and the Consumer Credit Legal Service have been honoured for the invaluable legal work they do in the community.
“Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Estrin Saul Lawyers have set sterling examples of giving back to the community through thousands of hours of pro bono work.”