Which community centres should you volunteer at?
Are you a law student looking to gain valuable legal experience, get involved with the community and bulk up your resume? Why not consider volunteering at one (or more) of the many community legal centres across Brisbane. Not only will your time be spent assisting with legal matters faced by some of our most vulnerable members of the community, you will be exposed to a range of areas of law and gain valuable, transferrable skills that you’ll have for life.
Located in Brisbane City, LawRight offers assistance to those who can’t afford legal representation and are not eligible for legal aid. Their broad range of services cover areas such as discrimination, tenancy disputes, guardianship and administration issues, employment issues, and issues regarding penalties and fines. They help clients represent themselves in court or will facilitate connection with volunteer lawyers from the community who will take on client cases pro bono.
For more information see http://www.lawright.org.au/
Environmental Defenders Office (Qld)
Consider yourself a bit of a greenie? Then why not consider volunteering for EDO. They advocate for all things nature with aims to protect clean air, water and soil, and restore and preserve nature. With success for their clients in having the Acland Coal mine expansion rejected and currently representing those against the Mt Coo-tha zipline development, environmentalists, this is right up your alley!
To find out more https://www.edoqld.org.au/
Caxton Legal Centre
With their goal to provide the best outcomes for people on a low income or otherwise disadvantaged, Caxton plays a pivotal role in Queensland’s legal landscape. Notable instances of their legal involvement include representing over 100 victims of the 2011 floods, and paving the way for multidisciplinary service delivery to people experiencing elder abuse. Similar to LawRight in the areas of law they can assist with (with the addition of family law), volunteering will deliver a wide exposure to a broad range of matters.
To get involved see https://caxton.org.au/
Youth Advocacy Centre
YAC provides legal services, youth support and family support assistance and services to young people generally aged 10 to 18 years. Assistance can be sought when a person has been charged or broken the law, requires support while on bail, has been the victim of a crime, or been discriminated against, plus much more. If you have a keen interest in the youth justice system and assisting at-risk youth, this one is for you.
For more information see https://www.yac.net.au/
LGBTI Legal Service
If you’re keen on assisting members of the LGBTI community with a range of interesting legal issues, this service will satisfy. You’ll not only gain exposure to interesting matters in family law, domestic violence, surrogacy and parenting rights, discrimination, and human rights issues, you’ll likely witness first-hand the difference in issues faced by those who identify as LGBTI as opposed to non-LGBTI persons.
To find out more see https://lgbtilegalservice.org.au/
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated
Want to help give a voice to persons with disability? QAI advocates for the fundamental needs and rights and lives of the most vulnerable people with disability in Queensland. Offering assistance to clients trying to influence and change legislation and policy and practices which will benefit people with disability as a whole, your involvement will prove to be educational, and may even go towards effecting change at a legislative level.
To get involved see http://www.qai.org.au
Refugee and Immigration Legal Service
If you’re a later year law student and immigration and refugee matters tickle your fancy, why not undertake a volunteering stint at RAILS? You’ll assist with cases before the Department of Immigration, Migration Review Tribunal, Refugee Review Tribunal and in cases of public interest, before the courts. Tasks you might undertake on the job include interviewing clients, drafting client statements and legal submissions, researching country information and form-filling.
To lend a hand see http://www.rails.org.au/