Community Legal Centres (CLC) are a great training ground for a future career in the law, along with serving as a meaningful way to assist those who might struggle to gain legal representation when they need it most.
Monica McKenzie now works as a defence solicitor in criminal law, but she gained invaluable experience as a volunteer at Redfern Legal Centre. Her time there was so educational and rewarding that she still volunteers there once a week.
“CLCs are a great place for law graduates to get on their feet,” McKenzie said. “You get that face-to-face contact and the responsibility for handling a person and their matter.”
Much of your time working at a CLC is taken up in assisting marginalised people, McKenzie said. “We get a lot of homeless people, and people on disability support pensions, as well as a lot of Indigenous clients.”
According to McKenzie, not only does work in a CLC help a law student prepare for a future career, but it can in many ways be more satisfying than a career in a large law firm.
“In the top-tier law firms there’s a lot more people higher up the corporate rungs than you,” she said. “You’ll just be a paper pusher. This is on the ground, on your feet, and great experience.”