- Access to justice is a serious issue for many small business owners
- Pro bono services save small business owners thousands of dollars
Each year, thousands of small business owners do not pursue legal matters because they believe it will be too expensive and time-consuming.
The State Government, through the Small Business Development Corporation, is helping to address this by referring eligible clients to the John Curtin Law Clinic for pro bono legal services.
Curtin University Law School students have commenced their inaugural semester at the new clinic in Murray Street, Perth.
Final year students, supervised by qualified practicing lawyers, gain practical legal skills and specialist knowledge, while small business clients get access to legal advice and remedies they could not otherwise afford.
The small business sector is a valuable contributor to the State's economy and the John Curtin Law Clinic is one of several providers of pro bono legal assistance for Western Australian small business owners in need.
From February to August 2017, the clinic has assisted 72 small business clients, free of charge. A total of 41 clients were referred by the Small Business Development Corporation.
Savings in legal fees for each small business client ranged from $3,000 to $9,000 per matter.
Comments attributed to Small Business Minister Paul Papalia:
"The John Curtin Law Clinic provides an important service that could have far reaching impacts on the Western Australian small business sector and the legal profession in the future.
"The benefits of this service also include reducing the stress and loss of productivity associated with attempting to resolve a legal issue without assistance.
"The small business sector involves more than 200,000 businesses in WA, and provides more than 40 per cent of all private sector employment. This pro bono service can help small businesses grow and prosper."
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"Collaborations of this kind help to educate the law professionals of the future and equip them with legal and commercial skills.
"Pro bono programs represent a win-win for small business owners who can access legal support and assistance, and law students who gain valuable experience in dealing with business owners and the types of challenges they face."
Small Business Minister's office - 6552 5600
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800