Jilly is a leading pro bono practitioner who has directed programs in firms for over a decade. Throughout her career, she has transformed pro bono practices through the development of ethically driven strategic projects focused on justice solutions. Jilly both directly assists and facilitates scaled legal support in areas of unmet legal need.
As Gilchrist Connell’s pro bono thought leader and practitioner, Jilly brings her commercial and front-line experience to deliver collaborative responses that support communities facing unfairness. Jilly has both directed pro bono practices and worked as a front-line lawyer in areas of poverty law, animal rights, domestic and family violence, systemic reform and advocacy and front-line defence for children in the criminal justice system. Jilly has worked on secondment to numerous front-line community legal organisations including, Aboriginal Legal Services, PILCH NSW (Justice Connect), Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Community Legal Centres NSW and front-line homeless and womens refugee clinics.
Jilly is a critical thinker with a particular focus on delivering background reform support to front-line lawyers and community legal centres. Her focus on justice theory, oppression and unfairness has led to her regular speaking on working with communities facing disadvantage, conscious lawyering, the ethics of advocacy writing and the nuance of responding to unfairness. Jilly is committed to driving moral thinking and ethical decision making through pro bono practice development and front-line response. Jilly is undertaking a Fellowship in ethics at the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.
Her law reform programmes have been nominated as highly commended in the Asia Pacific Innovative Law Awards – Rule of Law and Access to Justice across 4 years and has formed the basis of strategic pro bono support across multiple firms. She was a finalist pro bono lawyer of the year in the Women in Law Awards 2018. Jilly is on the board of Community Legal Centres NSW, Women’s Legal Service NSW and an advocacy advisor to Wear it Purple.
- Innovative Law Awards – Rule of Law and Access to Justice 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
- Finalist Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year – Women in Law Awards 2018
- Law Firm Pro Bono Program Awards includes:
- Finalist Pro Bono Program of the Year Award – Australian Law Awards Corporate Citizen Firm of the Year 2020
- Winner Australasian Law Awards – Corporate Citizen of the Year Pro Bono and Corporate Responsibility 2020
- Shortlisted Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards – Pro Bono Program of the Year 2020
- Shortlisted Australasian Law Awards – Corporate Citizen Firm of the Year 2019
- Shortlisted Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards – Pro Bono Program of the Year 2018
- Finalist Australian Law Awards – Pro Bono Program of the Year 2021
- 2020 Annual Asia Regional CLE Mock Trial Hearings November
- 2020 Speaking on the theory of Conscious Pro Bono together with Nicolas Patrick (Global Partner DLA Piper) at the Babseacle conference September 2020.
- Article in the Australian Pro Bono Resource Centre Magazine Pro Bono Voco; Bushfires and COVID-19 Response July 2020.
- Panel member for National Reconciliation Week on pro bono responses to First Nation issues August 2020.
- External speaker for Wear it Purple on issues facing children in schools 2020 and 2021.
- Regular speaker on pro bono and in house pro bono development.
- Guest speaker on Innovation and Scaling Pro Bono for the Skilled Volunteering Summit hosted by Westpac 2018.
- Regular speaker at Whitelion events regarding kids in custody and the criminal justice system (from 2014 – current).
- Article in Law Society Journal on Children in the Juvenile Detention Centre .
- Working with communities facing unfairness, November 2022
- The Power and Nuance of Doing Good May 2021.
- Advocacy writing and the importance of law reform December 2020.
- Conscious pro bono and our place in advocacy February 2021.
- Conscious pro bono Babseacle conference September 2020.
- Working with Vulnerable Clients training given to both internal lawyers and external commercial clients 2019.
- MCLE certified training on Animal Law in Practice NSW Legal Training Session, November 2011.
- MCLE certified training on Strategic Approaches in Animal law hosted by University of Newcastle, November 2011.
- Lecture in Animal Law with Young Lawyers Animal Law Committee hosted by University of Sydney, March 2011.
- Lecture Strategic Approaches to Animal Law hosted by the University of Technology Sydney, October 2012.
- Lecture: Pro bono and Public Interest Law, Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2012.