University of Sydney Law School - Social Justice

Want to gain frontline experience working with clients at NSW’s oldest and most respected community legal centre?

The Sydney Law School Social Justice Program at Redfern Legal Centre provides students with a unique opportunity take on the role of Legal Assistant – the first point of contact for people seeking legal advice at RLC.

This is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your legal knowledge with practical experience in a real-world environment.

Redfern Legal Centre works with a wide range of people, including:

  • public housing tenants
  • Indigenous people
  • International Students
  • people in marginal employment
  • people in financial difficulty
  • people with disabilities.

We specialise in:

  • tenancy and public housing law
  • police accountability
  • employment law
  • discrimination
  • credit, debt and consumer law
  • domestic violence
  • issues affecting International Students.

As a Legal Assistant you will develop your skills in communicating with the public, working with people in crisis, conducting client interviews, and identifying the wider legal aspects of clients’ situations. You will also gain knowledge of referral services and the practical application and constraints of the law.

 

What previous student participants have said

“Meeting such a variety of people, gaining the confidence to interact with them and knowing how much the clients appreciate someone being willing to listen and actually making a difference to their outcome!”

“It's a great experience - and it will make you realise that the law is not just fancy and glamorous, but that it affects real people with real problems.”

 

Duties

  • Semester 1 and Semester 2 Social Justice placement students work at RLC one day per week for the semester.
  • Summer Intensive placement students work two days per week for six weeks during the summer break: 22 January to 2 March 2018.

RLC offers a busy, team environment where you work with other students under the supervision of an experienced staff member.

  1. Legal information and referral: Legal Assistants staff RLC’s front office and respond to public inquiries, and support RLC clients and staff. They also provide legal referrals to other agencies.
     
  2. Client intake and interviewing: The Legal Assistant interviews the client in preparation for their appointment with the solicitor, identifying the legal issues and writing up a background narrative for the solicitor.
     
  3. Additional duties: The Legal Assistant liaises with clients, solicitors, courts, government and community agencies and may conduct research to support ongoing casework. They help with administrative work and monitor media coverage of legal issues relevant to RLC’s practice.

 

Opportunities

Opportunities to observe RLC in action:

  • Legal Assistants will observe solicitors giving legal advice, in several areas of RLC legal practice.
  • Students may also get the opportunity to attend a site visit at Downing Centre Local Court, meet with the staff of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service who work there, and observe the court process as Apprehended Violence Orders are made.

Opportunities after the Social Justice placement has ended: You may apply to continue as a Legal Assistant after the semester has ended. And after six months in total at RLC, you can apply for other roles that become available from time to time, such as:

  • Volunteer tenancy advisor: Provide tenancy advice to the public, under the supervision of an RLC Tenant Advocate.
  • PLT: Some Legal Assistants apply to undertake their PLT at RLC.

 

More information and how to apply

Eligibility: Eligibility requirements are set by the university. Being a current or past volunteer at RLC does not affect your eligibility.

Applications: Do not apply directly to RLC - you must apply via the university.

More information: University of Sydney Social Justice Legal Clinic.

Enquiries: info@rlc.org.au or University of Sydney Law School