SWS Lawyers believe that our role in the community extends beyond the delivery of legal services to our paying clients. We participate in the community in a number of ways:
Volunteer Legal Services
- Legal clinics - Our lawyers regularly attend a number of community based legal clinics providing advice and assistance to the disadvantaged and vulnerable.
- Hunter Community Legal Centre - The Hunter Community Legal Centre is a community legal centre that provides free legal advice to disadvantaged people based in the greater Newcastle and Hunter Valley region. SWS Lawyers provides regular assistance to HCLC on a variety of legal matters.
- University of Newcastle Legal Centre - The University of Newcastle Legal Centre is a community legal centre run by the University of Newcastle Law School. It is also the centrepiece of the Law School’s clinical program, giving students the opportunity to develop practical skills by assisting solicitors. SWS Lawyers regularly provides volunteer solicitors for the UNLC’s weekly advice night service.
Pro-Bono Legal Services
SWS lawyers provides pro bono legal services to a number of partner organisations from time to time. These include:
- Ngnowar-Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation - The NACC is an integral health and welfare centre for the East Kimberley Indigenous community. Its services include alcohol and drug prevention treatment, counselling and more.
- Yacaaba Centre -The Yacaaba Centre is a specialist homelessness service that has been operating in the Port Stephens area for over 20 years. The Centre assists victims of abuse by offering counselling and information services as well as by providing access to safe and affordable housing.
We recognise the importance of universities, and in particular, our local university, the University of Newcastle, in preparing the next generation of lawyers, who will serve our clients and communities and represent our profession in the future. A number of our senior practitioners act as guest lecturers of the University of Newcastle Law School, and we take a number of students each year for professional placement programs and as summer clerks. Our employees have also acted as judges in student competitions.
At SWS Lawyers we believe the Newcastle and Hunter community deserves access to the best of the Performing Arts. We are delighted to be the first legal firm to sponsor the Civic Theatre Season. Our involvement began in 2014 and we take pride in knowing that our financial support assists the Civic Theatre to continue to bring a varied program of theatre, dance, music and other performing arts to the people of Newcastle. We consider the Civic Theatre to be as culturally iconic to Newcastle, as Nobbys Lighthouse is geographically iconic.
We are also delighted to be able to showcase in our reception and boardroom a couple of wonderful paintings by Newcastle artist, Paul Maher.
Charity & Fundraising
SWS Lawyers and its staff regularly participate in, and contribute to, local and national charitable fundraising activities including events such as Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea (Cancer Council).
We are proud to have donated to Sport Access Foundation, an organisation founded by Paralympic gold medal winning triathlete, Katie Kelly, for the purpose of creating opportunities for kids with disabilities to participate in sport.
SWS Lawyers is also a silver sponsor of the Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre, a not for profit organisation whose stated aims include growing community participation in physical activities and providing opportunities to facilitate healthy lifestyle, socialisation and a sense of belonging.
In addition, our lawyers have been volunteers for:
- the Newcastle and Hunter International Women’s Breakfast organising committee;
- Maitland Grossman High School Mentoring scheme; and
- various additional fundraising events.