The Women's Legal Service is a free community legal service which provides free and confidential advice and referral on all legal matters including Family Law, Family Violence and Criminal and Civil matters. They also conduct Community Legal Education sessions, produce legal information to make the legal system more accessible and petition for law reform.
The Women's Legal Service employs volunteers from fourth and fifth years on a one-off and regular basis depending on casework and projects, but primarily they take students over the University summer break. Volunteers will undertake an induction session with the Women's Legal Service before undertaking any activities.
After their induction, students can undertake a wide range of activities including sitting in on client interviews, undertaking research, writing letters and attending court.
Expressions of interest: For summer positions send an email with a cover letter and your CV to email@example.com from 16 September until 30 September.
The Environmental Defenders Office is a not-for-profit community legal centre advising on environmental and planning law with the aim to increase public awareness of environmental law and remedies. EDO Tasmania aims to provide the public with the ability to have their say through free legal advice, help with environmental law research, referral to other groups and agencies and community legal education.
EDO Tasmania offers three types of volunteering opportunities:
- Regular volunteering: Students can come into the office for 2-4 hours per week throughout semester.
- External volunteering: Students can be emailed research tasks to complete as needed.
- Project volunteering: Students can register on our project volunteer database, and we will contact them if a large project comes up (e.g. significant law reform submission, organising a conference, new publication). The work would usually be short-term, but require 10-15 hours per week during that time.
Expressions of interest: Students can contact Jess Feehely on 6223 2770 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how they would like to help out.
The Hobart Community Legal Service (HCLS) is a community organisation whose aims are to foster community awareness of the law, to make the law more equitable and accessible to the public, and to provide free legal information, advice and referral to the general public in southern Tasmania. Law students can volunteer as Coordinators of free legal information sessions. The coordinators volunteer approximately once every eight weeks. The role is to ensure clients correctly fill in our forms, help précis clients legal problems for solicitors, making sure people are seen in a timely fashion, and that solicitors complete the forms correctly. The sessions are held every Monday and Wednesday night as 6pm from the their Hobart Office.
Expressions of interest: Email Jane Hutchison on email@example.com. No resume is required unless asked for specifically. Positions available are limited.
Launceston Community Legal Centre provides free legal advice to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Northern Tasmanian. The LCLC is a government funded 'not for profit' organisation and so clients must meet eligibility requirements to access the service. In the first instance, LCLC provides one off legal advice to clients, which can include but is not limited to, such matters as wills, power of attorney, debt, contract, consumer rights, boundary fences and restraint orders, employment or unfair dismissal issues, family law issues, welfare rights issues and disability discrimination issues. We also provide guidance to clients who wish to self litigate.
In addition to the legal practice, the LCLC has established the Legal Literacy Volunteer Program, which aims to improve document literacy and problem solving in communities by training individuals who are NOT lawyers but often called upon to help others to work through issues before they require legal advice or intervention.
Expressions of interest: Email the Principal Solicitor, Elizabeth Clippingdale at Elizabeth_Clippingdale@clc.net.au, with resume attached. The selected students will then be called in for a face-to-face chat.
Salvos Legal is a relatively new law firm that first commenced practice in Sydney in December 2010. All funds received by Salvos Legal in the performance of its work go towards the work of Salvos Legal Humanitarian, a full service free law firm for the disadvantaged and marginalised operating to fill the gap in access to justice throughout NSW, QLD & the ACT. Salvos Legal Humanitarian provides advice, assistance and representation for free in over 260 cases each fortnight in the following areas: Criminal law, Family and children's law, debt, housing, Centrelink and migration and refugee matter.
Expressions of interest: Check the website for volunteer position openings at www.salvoslegal.com.au and forward any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service is a not for profit refugee legal service in Tasmania whose primary purpose is to relieve the necessitous circumstances of refugees, humanitarian entrants and asylum seekers who reside in Tasmania through the provision of free and confidential legal services. RLS is a member of Community Legal Centres Tasmania and is a registered charity.
RLS provides free legal services to disadvantaged asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Tasmania, through harnessing the volunteer support of lawyers, law students, migration agents and other interested volunteers. We aim to provide an opportunity for UTAS law students to gain practical skills, information and assistance in the work of RLS.
RLS will advertise student volunteering opportunities through the law school and on our Facebook page. For information please visit http://rlstas.com/ or check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rlstasmania.
The MHTRS provides free representation to people with mental health issues who have been listed to appear before the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT). This is consistent with the United Nations Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care, and provides much needed support for people with mental health issues to have their say when major decisions about their liberty and life choices are being made.
Training is now available on-line and allows students to set their own pace. The training consists of 8 short modules:
- Mental Illness - Myths & Facts
- Stigma & Discrimination
- Legislation & Therapeutic Jurisprudence
- Consumer & Carer Rights
- Capacity and Consent
- The Mental Health Tribunal
- Mental Health Tribunal Representation Scheme
- Representatives and the Mental Health Tribunal
The eLearning Program has been designed as a brief overview and should take a maximum of 2 hours to complete. A Certificate of Completion will be issued on successfully completing all modules. Law students will be invited to attend an induction at the Royal Hobart Hospital, or other recognised facility where they will observe a Tribunal hearing and will then have the opportunity to act as a MHTRS Representative. This involves meeting with the client, providing them with information and support, attending the MHT hearing with the client and writing a brief report on the determination of the Tribunal. Representatives will be provided with guidance and ongoing support in addition to a standard reimbursement of expenses on completion of a representation.
Representatives will gain invaluable experience from volunteering in the Scheme as well as being able to demonstrate a commitment to social justice and a greater awareness of mental health issues.
Expressions of interests: Please email email@example.com for more information, or visit https://advocacytasmania.org.au/about-us/volunteering/ to begin the eLearning Program.
COMET (Community Engagement Tasmania) is a social justice project and a University Society, the key aim of which is to empower disadvantaged youth by teaching them key concepts of the criminal law relating to their rights and obligations in civic society. COMET sets up a framework where by you, as a law student, will fulfil the role of General Representative.
This will involve being trained to run workshops on criminal law for disadvantaged youth in the youth shelters around Hobart. The time commitment required for COMET will be approximately 20 hours over the whole year, not including training or any fundraising work you wish to contribute. COMET is a practical way for you to use and expand your legal knowledge to make a positive difference at a grass roots level in our local community while working to reduce disadvantage and increase equality.
At the end of 2016 COMET Executive will send out information about how to become a General Representative in 2017. General Reps are required to attend 2 profession facilitation training sessions plus relevant induction sessions.
Expressions of interest: Please do not hesitate to forward any questions or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply approach a COMET Executive member! Although you may have missed the cut off date for General Representative selections/training in 2016, keep an eye on your UTas webmail for information about how to get involved at the end of semester 2!
Established by Greg Barns and Jennifer White, the Prisoners Legal Service is a low cost service that will give prisoners greater certainty as to their legal options in relation to disciplinary matters, visitation rights, section 42 leave, and parole applications. It helps to overcome the various barriers to representation and provide a greater level of understanding about the advice sought. It also increases the prisoner's ability to participate in the legal process and consequently improve their ability to respond and thus facilitate rehabilitation.
Law students can volunteer to be a part of the advisory program, which involves:
- Taking part in the Advisory Clinic held at Risdon Prison each month on a paired roster basis.
- Each pair of student advocates will, accompanied by Counsel, attend Risdon Prison and take the initial instructions. It is expected that each pair of students will attend Risdon Prison two/three times a year.
- Each pair will be encouraged to research the issues and develop the written submission or brief forreferral.
- Students will prepare any written advice and provide it to Counsel for approval in each case. For example, a prisoner need assistance sourcing programs that make them eligible for parole.
- Other projects and training are offered at times during the year.
Expressions of interest: Students may forward interest in these projects to Jennifer White, Prisoners Legal Service Advisory Program, email@example.com or call 0400 779 809. Our mailing address is Suite 1, 81 Salamanca Place, Hobart 7000.
Animal law is concerned with the laws impacting on animal welfare and protection. It involves a wide range of laws, including consumer law, property law, environmental law and administrative law. Topics range from broader theoretical issues about the appropriate legal status of animals, to questions about law reform, interpretation and enforcement. Particularly topical issues include the legal duties in relation to farm animal welfare, the protection of endangered species and the regulation of animals used in research and entertainment.
There are a number of ways to become further involved in Australian animal law and policy.
1. Join national animal welfare & protection organisations
By joining these organisations and receiving their email updates, you will be able to keep informed about potential opportunities in the area (as well as news and key events).
2. Volunteer legal research
There are a number of animal welfare and protection organisations who occasionally require the assistance of legal research volunteers. They include:
- Animals Australia Animals Australia is a non-profit organisation (based in Melbourne) which acts as the peak body for Australian animal protection organisations, societies and individuals. It has conducted numerous highly publicised anti-cruelty investigations in Australia, and regularly runs campaigns to raise awareness and take action in regards to critical animal welfare issues.
- The Animal Law Institute The Animal Law Institute (ALI) is a not for profit organisation (based in Melbourne) that is dedicated to protecting animals and advocating for their interests through the Australian legal system. ALI aims to 'provide pro bono legal advice and assistance to individuals and organisations that promote animal protection and the prevention of animal cruelty, represent animals and their advocates in court, challenge the way our legal system protects animals through effective law reform, and engage with the community to provide free education about how the legal system can be used to promote and advance animal protection'. (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact number (0438 8490 38).
- The Barristers Animal Welfare Panel The Barristers Animal Welfare Panel ('BAWP') is a national body of individuals who are dedicated to promoting and fostering advocacy for the welfare of animals. It is comprised of two main parts – the barristers who 'enable litigants in matters of public interest or prosecutions affecting animal welfare to be represented and advised on a pro bono or reduced fee basis', and the Secretariat. The Secretariat is open to anyone - to join the 'Secretariat' you do not have to be a lawyer. The Panel's Facebook page is the best way to stay up to date with Panel activities and cases.
- Voiceless, the animal protection institute Voiceless is an 'independent, non-profit think tank focused on raising awareness of animals suffering in factory farming and the kangaroo industry in Australia'. Voiceless has in-house legal counsel dedicated to animal law reform and policy. It also has a significant grants program, which provided funding for Tasmania's first animal law conference in 2013. To keep up to date with Voiceless, you can 'like' its Facebook page, join the email list, and ask to join the Facebook group 'Voiceless Law Talk', which aims to connect animal law students and academics across Australia.
3. Study animal law at University
14 law schools across the country (including UTAS) offer animal law courses at the undergraduate level. There are also postgraduate courses offered overseas (particularly in the US). Available courses in Australia are summarised on the Voiceless website (above).
4. Moot on animal law
The Animal Law Institute runs the annual ANIMAL Moot Competition. UTAS sent teams in both 2014 and 2015, reaching the grand final and semi-finals respectively. This year's competition will be held at Flinders University in South Australia over the weekend of 17-18th September. For further information, and to register a team: http://www.ali.org.au/
5. Attend public education lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences
Public lectures, seminars and workshops are run throughout the year by various individuals and organisations. An important date on the animal law calendar is the annual national 'Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series'. UTAS has hosted the Hobart leg of the series for the past few years, which features both local and international speakers discussing topical animal law issues. This year's lecture will be held on 6th May at the UTAS Faculty of Law. For further information, and to register your attendance (free): www.voiceless.org.au/lecture.
6. Educate yourself
If you want to become more involved in animal law, it is advisable to educate yourself about the key issues. There are a number of books on the subject in the law library, and a wealth of information can be found online.
Some key resources, to get you started:
- Alex Bruce, Animal Law in Australia: An Integrated Approach (LexisNexis, 2012).
- Malcolm Caulfield, Handbook of Australian Animal Cruelty Law (Animals Australia, 2008).
- Peter Sankoff and Steven White (eds), Animal Law in Australasia(2009).
- Graeme McEwen, Animal Law: Principles and Frontiers (E-Book, Barristers Animal Welfare Panel, 2012).
- Voiceless, The Animal Law Toolkit
7. Contribute to public comment on animal law reform
Periodically, public comment will be invited on proposed changes to laws and regulations which impact on animal welfare and protection. In Tasmania, information about Tasmanian animal welfare law and policy can be found on the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website.
8. Create your own opportunities
If you want to volunteer with an organisation, or learn from a particular lawyer, then approach them - demonstrate your initiative and dedication. If you want to run a workshop on animal law in your local area, then organise one. You could travel overseas and volunteer with organisations in other countries. The possibilities are endless!
Expressions of interest: If you are interested in learning more about animal law, participating in the animal law moot, or volunteering with ALI or BAWP, please feel free to contact Meg Good (Meg is the Tasmanian Coordinator of the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel, and Director of Education at the Animal Law Institute): Meg.Good@utas.edu.au.
The Student Legal Service (SLS) is run by dedicated University of Tasmania (UTAS) students for the benefit of the entire community. It provides free and confidential legal advice and is supported by great local lawyers. The general advice sessions are available for both students and the community and are staffed by the most capable student volunteers in their penultimate years. The specialist migration advice sessions are only for UTAS students and are conducted by migration agents.
Role of Volunteers:
12 law students are selected at the beginning of every year and become a student volunteer for SLS. They undergo training for administrative and advice sessions in order to prepare them for client management. Volunteers get the opportunity to conduct client interviews and provide advice all under the supervision of a practicing solicitor.
Role of Committee:
There are 9 positions you can apply for in the committee. There is the President, Vice-President Secretary, Treasurer, IT Officer, Publications and Communications Officer, Events Officer, Sponsorship Officer and 3rd year representative. The committee manages the smooth running of the SLS as a whole.
How to Get Involved:
Advertisement and applications for the role of committee members for 2017 begins around September to October of 2016 with the new committee taking over management by November.
Advertisement for the volunteering positions for 2017 goes out at the beginning of 2017 with applications and training conducted in early February of 2017. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for SLS in 2017, consider getting involved in local legal services such as TUT, EDO and WLS or other voluntary organisations now. This will help you to build up the skills that you need for SLS.
If you have any questions on how to get involved or how to prepare yourself for committee positions or the volunteer positions, you can drop SLS an email at email@example.com. SLS also runs several events throughout the year such as Trivia Night, talks, etc. "Like" the SLS Facebook page to be kept up to date on future events.
The Tenants' Union of Tasmania Inc. is a not for profit community organisation offering free services including tenancy advice, advocacy and referrals. We also offer free community legal education and training in issues relating to tenancy. The Tenants' Union of Tasmania has a core group of about 7-8 volunteers who provide legal advice in relation to the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (Tas). Volunteers can either provide telephone advice for 2-3 hours once a week or work on specific research projects. Voluntary clerkships may be available
- Expressions of interest: Send an expression of interest email to firstname.lastname@example.org.