Te Ara Ture is here to help. The main benefits of sending us work are:
There are other benefits too:
Your case needs to meet our eligibility criteria. We need to know about:
Contact us or check our Referral Manual to find out more about eligibility.
We have 100s of lawyers in our network and cover every area of law. We can help with every part of a legal problem, including:
Before applying you must:
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The best cases to refer are:
If a matter is outside of your expertise you should talk to us first. We can help you assess it for merits. If we can't work it out together, we can ask a pro bono lawyer for an opinion or merits assessment as a first step.
Not all legal issues are equal. More serious issue deserve more attention.
We will only ask lawyers to work for free if it is reasonable to do so. You need to tell us why you think its reasonable ask. The following questions should help you:
Check our Referrer Manual for more details.
The following matters will not be suitable;
Te Ara Ture is part of your law centre team. We’re the person down the hall who’s only job is to find pro bono lawyers for your clients. We connect people on low incomes to volunteer lawyers. In this way, we bridge the gap between those in need and those who are willing to help.
Most of your matters will be suitable for referral. We want:
Some cases will not be suitable for referral. It’s important our volunteer lawyers feel their contribution is valued and makes a difference. It won’t be a reasonable use of pro bono resource to send us the following:
Some matters will not be suitable due to special circumstances, such as language barriers or sensitive legal issues. If you are unsure, please contact us first to discuss the referral. We might be able to find another solution for you.
It’s super easy to make a referral. You can do it all through our pro bono portal: https://nz.probonoportal.org/intake/form
We’ve even got a script you can use to make sure the client is told about the main issues.
There are different tools and resources for everyone involved. For law centres, there are FAQs and a script to help you advise the client about the main parts of the referral. For the client, there are FAQs we recommend you give them (or send then a link). You can also read the material the lawyers get, which gives a slightly different view of things.
The service is designed to target people facing barriers to justice, including cost. We are targeting the service at people in the bottom 50% of income and wealth because our research shows these people are unlikely to have money available to pay for a lawyer. Most law centre clients will easily fit within this demographic. However, to be sure, we do need you to check their financial position. We also want to make sure our lawyers have meaningful work. That is why our eligibility test asks you about merits.
The client terms and conditions are long and very detailed to enable the client to be fully informed about our service and to understand the benefits and risks associated with the service. They were drafted to protect you, the client, Te Ara Ture and the volunteer lawyers. If you use the FAQs and script the main issues will have been addressed.
Te Ara Ture uses a secure online portal to match legal matters with volunteer lawyers. The portal is award winning software developed by Justice Connect in Australia. It is used in Australia by over 170 firms and is being rolled out in multiple jurisdictions around the world. Te Ara Ture hosts and operates a standalone version of the software. You can read more about the global project here: https://probonoportal.org
The portal is our main way of sending pro bono work to our network of volunteer lawyers and communicating with them. It is used to:
We need to put some information about the client’s matter on the portal. We need to do this so the volunteer lawyers can determine if they have the expertise and time to help. We also post identity information (such as the client’s name) – but only once a lawyer has expressed an interest in helping the client (and only that lawyer gets identity information). Once the case has been accepted by a lawyer, we upload all the information we have about the client so they can start working on the client’s case.