Community

We see it as our responsibility to use our skills and resources to help others in the community.

Our people contribute their time and expertise to work on pro bono matters and other community initiatives, with a particular focus on alleviating disadvantage, advancing reconciliation, improving access to justice and promoting sustainability.

Our history of leadership in pro bono and community work has seen us lead the way on constitutional recognition, climate action, refugee rights and marriage equality.

We were the first Australian organisation to sign the United Nations Global Compact in 2001. Our most recent Communication on Progress details the ways we have continued to develop, implement and promote activities within our business to uphold the Compact's 10 principles. Visit our human rights and responsible business page to learn more.

Our community strategy focuses on using our skills and resources to benefit the community across a range of pillars, including pro bono, reconciliation, the environment, philanthropy and responsible sourcing. 

Pro bono

We work with disadvantaged individuals and for NGOs, to promote access to justice and protect human rights. This includes partnering with Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal Legal Services across the country, to assist people facing homelessness, as well as refugees and asylum seekers. We also fund the only ongoing graduate position in the community legal sector in Victoria.

Making a difference

  • We contributed more than 35,000 hours of pro bono legal work in 2022, with almost half of this time spent on human rights-related matters.
  • 1 in 5 Allens lawyers worked on an asylum seeker-related matter in 2022.
  • Pro bono legal assistance was provided to 128 people facing homelessness in 2022.
  • Our target is at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work per lawyer each year.

Reconciliation

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this page contains images of deceased people.   

As part of building lasting, respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, we are working on actions outlined in our First Nations Engagement Plan.

As well as establishing employment opportunities in the firm, we support the creation of opportunities in the community, and quality education programs for First Nations students. We also build connections with community through staff secondments with Jawun and the Empowered Communities Project.

Making a difference

  • Our commitment is that at least 15% of our pro bono legal work be for First Nations clients and relevant public interest organisations.
  • Following the launch of our First Nations Legal Internship Program in 2006, more than 150 students have now completed the program.
  • Staff in each of our offices participate in mentoring programs for First Nations students.
  • We've invested more than 319 weeks of skilled support to First Nations organisations through our partnership with Jawun and Empowered Communities.

Environment and climate action

We strive for leadership on environmental sustainability in our sector. We're committed to taking climate action to reduce the material impacts of our operations and to identifying opportunities to drive positive environmental change, as outlined in our Environmental Policy.

We have set a target to reduce our absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by FY2030 from a FY2019 base year. Our near-term science-based emissions reduction target has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and is in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

As we work towards our emissions reduction target, we aim to continue our certification for our Australian offices through the Australian Government's Climate Active Program. We first achieved certification in December 2014, and we seek recertification annually. For more information about our certification and the emissions sources included in our greenhouse gas emissions inventory please take a look at our most recent Climate Active Public Disclosure Statement.

We also maintain an environmental management system in our Australian offices, designed to help us take a systematic approach to identifying and mitigating our material environmental impacts.

Making a difference

  • We take action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with an ambitious and independently assessed science-based target.
  • We source 100% GreenPower accredited energy for our tenancy electricity in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
  • We also buy and surrender offsets as an additional contribution to climate action. We seek to invest in accredited offset projects, including Indigenous carbon farming projects, that deliver emissions abatement and/or sequestration alongside other environmental or social benefits.

Philanthropy

We provide financial support to charitable organisations through our community grants and matched funding program. Our staff volunteer their time to help alleviate disadvantage and inequality. We also regularly organise fundraising days and events in each of our offices to support charitable causes and community partners.

Making a difference 

  • Over 391 grants provided to more than 184 organisations since 2002.
  • Staff across our offices volunteer for important causes, including mentoring young people and assisting those experiencing homelessness.

Responsible sourcing

We have a responsible sourcing program designed to promote procurement practices that are ethical, and environmentally and socially responsible. As a purchaser of products and services, we also look for opportunities within our supply chain to support positive social and environmental outcomes through our procurement spend.

Through our responsible sourcing policy and process, we seek to take action to identify, assess and mitigate risks of modern slavery practices in our supply chain. Our Supplier Code of Conduct sets out the minimum standards we expect of our suppliers in relation to ethical business practices, human rights and labour practices, and environmental management.

Making a difference

  • We seek opportunities to engage social and Indigenous enterprises in our supply chain, and to make a positive impact through our procurement spend. Allens is a founding partner of Supply Nation, and as part of our First Nations Engagement Plan, we contribute to the growth of the Indigenous business sector through procurement and pro bono support.

Community Engagement Board

Our community and pro bono work is overseen by our Community Engagement Board chaired by the Managing Partner and comprising representatives of our Pro Bono, Philanthropy, Reconciliation Action Plan and Sustainability Committees.

To learn more about our community programs, contact our Director of Community Engagement Nicky Friedman.