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Practical Legal Training Students - Homeless Law

LocationMelbourne, VIC
Work TypeVolunteer
Positions2 Positions
Job no: YKX9T
Category: Practical Legal Training Opportunities, Homeless Law team

You’ve finished your degree, and you’re nearly ready to start your legal career, but there’s a final step: practical legal training.  

With Justice Connect, you can do your training and make a real difference in people’s lives. Sharpen your skills while working to help people facing disadvantage and contribute to a cause you’re passionate about — access to justice.  

It’s also a great way to meet new people, gain practical experiences, and develop career-related professional skills and networks with a respected and established legal charity.   

Our Practical Legal Training (PLT) placements will provide you with practical and procedural legal experience and skills across practice areas. You will work alongside experienced lawyers and be exposed to embedded digital platforms in our legal practices. This will support you in gaining valuable skills and experience in your quest to complete your legal studies. 

Important information about the role

Placements are part-time (2-3 days; 13-19.5 hours per week) and successful candidates must commit to a minimum of 50 days.

This position is unpaid.

This role will be based at our Melbourne city office with hybrid working arrangements.

Successful candidates may be required to work 1-2 days per week in our office. We will interview and recruit PLT students on a rolling basis.

We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will close applications when we have recruited enough PLT students.

Key Responsibilities

As a PLT, you will develop practical and procedural legal experience and skills across practice areas relating to Homeless Law. You will have the opportunity to participate in:

  • the intake of new telephone and online enquiries;
  • taking instructions and communicating with clients;
  • assessing matters for clinic appointments, drafting letters and drafting memos for appointments;
  • observing some client appointments;
  • delivering supervised legal information to clients;
  • supporting the work of the lawyers (internal and secondee lawyers) including communicating with lawyers, case workers and the courts/tribunals, and drafting referral memoranda;
  • legal research, analysis and problem solving;
  • contributing to Homeless Law’s law reform, advocacy or project work;
  • inputting and maintaining accurate client information on Homeless Law’s case management platform, Microsoft Dynamics;
  • shadowing Homeless Law lawyers at VCAT and Magistrates Court hearings;
  • contributing to Justice Connect’s Reconciliation Action Plan activities.

To find success in this role, you should be able to demonstrate the following capabilities: 

  • Be willing to develop and apply new skills
  • Be a supportive and cooperative team member 
  • Ensure clients, stakeholders, and colleagues are kept informed of progress and issues 
  • Develop positive relationships with clients based on empathy, respect and fairness 
  • Work responsibly within the limits of your own role and capabilities 
  • Perform work in accordance with set guidelines and procedures 
  • Seek feedback from clients, stakeholders and colleagues in order to reflect and improve on your work

Our Team

In the face of rising levels of unmet legal need, Justice Connect designs and delivers high impact interventions to increase access to legal support and progress social justice.

Justice Connect’s Homeless Law is Victoria’s specialist free legal service for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Since 2001, our Homeless Law team has worked closely with pro bono lawyers to increase access to tailored legal support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Our Homeless Law services are outreach-based and client-centred, and don’t just focus on legal needs. Homeless Law has integrated staff social workers and collaborates with community sector partners to ensure that clients’ needs are holistically addressed.

Homeless Law also prioritises advocating for better laws and policies through evidence based strategic engagement and advocacy, which is focused on stopping homelessness before it starts and preventing the criminalisation of homelessness.

Eligibility and how to apply:

To be eligible for this position, you must: 

  • Have completed your law degree 
  • Be currently completing your Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (through College of law or an equivalent institution) 
  • Undertake a minimum of 50 days of practical legal training at Justice Connect 

Lawyers will not be considered 

*Please note that PLT positions are unpaid* 

Please upload your resume and a cover letter. Please ensure your cover letter includes your available start date, your preferred days, how many days placement you can commit to and the details of your GDLP provider. 

We know our team and our organisation is stronger with a diversity of backgrounds and experience, including lived experience of the issues we work on. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people of colour, people from culturally and linguistically diverse and refugee backgrounds, people with diverse religious beliefs, gender diverse people, LGBTQIA+ people and people living with a disability are strongly encouraged to apply.