THE STUDY of human rights law is coming alive for some University of New South Wales (UNSW) students through a fellowship with the NSW Legal Aid Commission.
Anthony Levin, now employed fulltime at Legal Aid, jumped at the chance of doing a 16 week stint there, as the practical part of his PLT course.
“In terms of the case work itself, you’re dealing with matters which involve novel legal issues, extremely complex and overlapping areas of law, often which could become test cases,” Levin said.
Even the simpler matters “still involve particularly vulnerable clients, and so you’re exposed to, not only a level of law, but a level of client-lawyer interaction which you just don’t get in other contexts”.
While working for six years in a top tier firm as a paralegal equipped Levin with invaluable skills, it was actually a mentor at the firm who encouraged Levin to pursue his passion for human rights.
“Because of the caprices of paralegal work, matters can run for a long time [and] you might shift groups. It’s quite different here at Legal Aid — I was able to see the fruits of my labour in a number of matters.”