We believe lawyers have a responsibility to ensure that the law and the legal system are fair, equitable and accessible to all. In 1996, Gilbert + Tobin was the first law firm in Australia to appoint a full-time in-house pro bono lawyer. We now have two partners and a core group of dedicated lawyers in pro bono full-time, as well as lawyers undertaking pro bono matters across the firm. Graduates are also able to apply for a first rotation position with the pro bono group, starting in February each year.
We are proud advocates of social justice and focus on providing advice and support to marginalised and disadvantaged people and the organisations that work with them. Our pro bono practice covers many diverse areas of law including discrimination, corporate law, property law, administrative law, defamation and public international law — with a particular focus on issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, refugees, people with disabilities and the protection of human rights.
Working at G+T means being part of a team that is committed to acting in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Our corporate social responsibility (CSR) program incorporates three key areas: promoting and supporting reconciliation, contributing to our community and environmental sustainability.
Since the firm was established in 1988, we’ve been committed to promoting and supporting reconciliation with Indigenous Australians. We are committed to achieving practical steps towards reconciliation, including: our cadetship program for Indigenous law students; Indigenous employment program; Indigenous first year law student mentoring program; Indigenous cultural awareness training available to all staff; our extensive contemporary Indigenous art program; participation in national reconciliation week; providing financial support for organisations supporting Indigenous peoples (including Just Reinvest, Shine for Kids, the Cape York Girl Academy and Tribal Warrior Association); hosting visits from Indigenous high school students, especially from the University of NSW Indigenous Winter School and pre-law program; and supporting Indigenous economic development by procuring products from Indigenous businesses certified by Supply Nation.
Community at G+T incorporates a range of activities including charitable giving, financial and in-kind support and volunteering. As just one example, we are a major sponsor of the Gilbert +Tobin Centre for Public Law at the University of NSW. The Centre plays a prominent, independent role in public debate on issues vital to Australia's future including Charters of Rights, federal reform, reconciliation and native title, refugee and migration law and the challenges of responding to terrorism.
We also consistently work on improving our environmental performance. Since 2014 we have been a reporting member of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance; (AusLSA), an industry association that promotes sustainable practices across the legal sector. In 2015 we launched our first certified Environmental Management System (EMS). The priorities of our EMS, as identified by our staff, are energy use, paper use, and disposal of IT equipment.