Macquarie Law School and global law firm DLA Piper have joined forces to launch Wallumatta Legal, a not-for-profit law firm providing affordable, low-fee legal services.
Wallumatta Legal will help address an important societal issue by providing legal services to the ‘missing middle’– those who are not eligible for legal aid or other free services but who cannot readily afford the fees charged by most commercial lawyers. Its initial focus will be on family law, dealing with such issues as divorce, parenting and property matters.
Chair of Wallumatta Legal, Gerry Bean says this is a new day for legal services in Australia.
“Wallumatta Legal will provide the ‘missing middle’ with access to justice, which has been denied for too long. Our innovative not-for-profit model was designed to meet-the-market, but also be scalable for growth.”
Located in Macquarie University’s new Arts Precinct, the Wallumatta Legal team includes Annette Bain, Cameron Thomson (CEO), Vivian Galanis (Principal Solicitor), and six university law students volunteering as part of their practical learning activity. The initiative is also supported by partners Lexis Nexus, Lander & Rogers, Ashurst and KWM.
“Macquarie Law School is proud to be bridging the gap and support this pioneering initiative to provide sorely needed legal services. We are teaching our students that through studying law they can help transform society and make real-world positive changes to their community,” says Associate Professor Lise Barry, Interim Dean of Macquarie Law School (pictured above).
“This project is the one of the first of its kind in Australia. It stands at the forefront of academic innovation, providing our students with work experience in legal services right on campus.”
Wallumatta Legal leverages cutting-edge legal technology and automation to provide accessible legal advice at a low cost. An online triage questionnaire collates information prior to the initial consultation, enabling the lawyer to focus on providing the client with advice and representation rather than collecting information. To maximise its client-centred approach, Wallumatta Legal will combine traditional and technological tools in its service delivery.
Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the Wallumatta Legal team is working remotely offering phone and online consultations. For more information, visit the Wallumatta Legal website.
Officially launched earlier this month, the announcement has already received coverage in the Australian Financial Review, and has been featured in The Lighthouse.
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