find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
LIV to help indigenous lawyers

LIV to help indigenous lawyers

THE LAW Institute of Victoria (LIV) hosted a launch for the Indigenous Law Students & Lawyers Association of Victoria (ILSLAV) last month to welcome the organisation to its new location at…

THE LAW Institute of Victoria (LIV) hosted a launch for the Indigenous Law Students & Lawyers Association of Victoria (ILSLAV) last month to welcome the organisation to its new location at the LIV.

Speaking at the event were the Hon Jenny Mikakos, parliamentary Secretary for Justice and chair of the Aboriginal Justice Forum; Catherine Gale, president of the LIV; and ILSLAV president Bevan Mailman.

Mailman said indigenous law students and graduates deserve to be encouraged because they are in a prime position to offer legal assistance to the indigenous community, a recommendation made in the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

“It’s important to have our association, because indigenous lawyers often have a unique understanding of the specific challenges faced by indigenous people,” Mailman said.

“The association acknowledges that one way to stem the high levels of incarceration is to increase the numbers of indigenous lawyers able to provide such legal representation,” he said.

ILSLAV’s chief aim is to see indigenous law students reach the same graduation and workplace participation rates that other students enjoy.

Currently there are about 20 indigenous law students in Victoria. Deakin University, through its Institute of Koori Education, also offers short courses to students from around the country. However, rates of graduation were highlighted as a particular concern by Mailman.

“Graduation rates are a bit of a problem due to the fact that many of the students who are fortunate enough to gain entry into legal studies are not supported enough … we’re here to fill that gap.”

There have only ever been two indigenous lawyers admitted to the Bar in Victoria — Professor Mick Dodson and Linda Lovett.

“Although it is important that the association is supported by the public and private sectors it is also important that indigenous students and lawyers play a key role in supporting other indigenous members of the legal fraternity,” Mailman said.

Some firms have already responded to ILSLAV initiatives. Mailman’s firm Deacons has taken two indigenous law students over the past few years who have gone on to do their articles. He said that ILSLAV is trying to encourage more firms to consider disadvantaged students’ circumstances when hiring.

ILSLAV seeks to help its members through mentor programmes, employment and article placements, study support networks, and raising awareness of the legal profession. “We hope to follow the lifecycle of the law student and graduate,” Mailman said.

To that end, ILSLAV promotes a legal skills and information seminar, which is run by the Victoria Bar Association. The association also hosts social functions to introduce its members to the judiciary. “Justice [Geoffrey] Eames and Justice [Stephen] Kaye have been big supporters of the association from the start,” Mailman said.

ILSLAV also wants to establish clerkship and article placements for indigenous law graduates, along with a fund through the Victorian Bar Association to support select graduates in their first year of work.

Full membership is open to indigenous Australians who are studying law at a Victorian university or educational institute, or to a previous graduate living in the state. Graduates or students of law living outside of Victoria may also be eligible or, alternatively, for associate membership.

The association was incorporated in 2002. “Hopefully in the next few years it will be very prosperous for everyone involved,” Mailman said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

LIV to help indigenous lawyers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...