Volunteer Legal Assistants
Volunteer Legal Assistants build skills in communicating with the public, assisting people in crisis, and client interviewing. They also increase their knowledge of referral services and the practical application and constraints of the law.
1. Legal Information and Referral
Legal Assistants staff the front office and respond to the requests of the public, clients and RLC staff. Legal Assistants provide legal information and referrals to other organisations. Legal Assistants may be required to provide non-legal referrals and assistance such as help filling in forms.
2. Client Intake and Interviewing
Legal Assistants ascertain the nature of enquiries, interview the client in preparation for their solicitor interview and create client appointments.
3. Casework Follow-up
Legal Assistants draft letters and documents, contact clients, other solicitors, courts, government and community agencies and conduct research to support ongoing casework.
4. Additional Duties
Legal Assistants help with administrative reception work including answering phones, delivering and collecting files and documents, faxing, photocopying, filing and maintaining legal information supplies.
Volunteer Legal Assistants work one half-day shift per week, for a minimum of twelve months. (We understand that holidays and time off for exams may take place within the twelve months).
- Morning shifts are Monday to Friday 9am-1pm.
- Afternoon shifts are Monday to Thursday 2pm-6pm and Friday 2pm-5pm.
You will need to offer us at least 3 possible shifts, preferably 5, and we will roster you on to one of those.
Legal Assistants must also attend two compulsory training sessions at Redfern Legal Centre.
RLC requires a commitment of a minimum of twelve months at RLC. However, after at least six months staffing the front office, a Legal Assistant can apply to transfer to another volunteer role at RLC to finish the twelve months. Roles that may be available from time to time include:
- Admin assistant to a solicitor: Assist one of the solicitors with their files and documents.
- Volunteer tenancy advisor: Provide tenancy advice to the public, under the supervision of an RLC Tenant Advocate.
Dates and how to apply: Application and intake dates, and how to apply for the general intake
Summer Intensive Intake
Volunteers who are only available over the summer break may be interested in the Summer Intensive option.
Summer Intensive volunteers work for a mimimum of 12 full days, 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. Possible attendance patterns include:
- one day per week for a minimum of twelve weeks, starting in November 2018 and finishing in February 2019
- two days per week for a minimum of six weeks, any time in the period November 2018 to February 2019
- three days per week for a minimum of four weeks in November and December 2018.
We can negotiate which weeks and which day/s of the week suit you.
Selection criteria and application process: Generally speaking we accept volunteers who meet the same criteria as for the General Intake above. However this intake does not require a formal application process. Interested people should phone or email Nick Manning, email@example.com.
Social Justice Intake (University of Sydney)
USYD students can enrol in a Social Justice subject and earn course credit as a Volunteer Legal Assistant. Do not apply directly to RLC - you must apply via the university. More information: University of Sydney Social Justice Legal Clinic.