Secondments at Justice Connect

Engage in diverse and rewarding work to further the public interest.

Why a secondment?

Secondments at Justice Connect are great ways for commercial lawyers to enhance access to justice. You’ll use your legal expertise to create better outcomes for people locked out of the legal system.

Secondee solicitors have contact with a wide range of Justice Connect stakeholders including pro bono practitioners at our member firms, barristers at the Victorian Bar, the Federation of Community Legal Centres, Victoria Legal Aid, governments and NGOs.

What will I work on?

As a secondee, you’ll be helping us improve access to justice in Australia. The work includes assessing inquiries for assistance, researching and preparing pro bono referrals to our members, preparing law reform submissions and supporting the establishment of innovative projects to address unmet legal need.

You’ll come up with creative solutions for clients seeking legal assistance and build a generalist knowledge of the law and litigation processes in various jurisdictions. You’ll also develop excellent communication and file management skills.

In the course of their referral casework, secondees at Justice Connect take detailed instructions from clients, liaise with courts and government agencies, prepare briefs to counsel and research and draft referral memoranda. In some circumstances secondees may have opportunities to attend conferences between counsel and clients and may also attend court as observers.

Depending on your interest and level of experience, there may be scope to provide telephone advice to not-for-profits through PilchConnect.

What will I learn?

Our secondees report improvements in the following skill areas:

  • communication skills – the ability to deliver complex messages clearly and concisely, whether to Counsel, lawyers or clients;
  • file management – taking responsibility for progressing and monitoring multiple client files, ensuring accurate file notes are kept and supervisors are consulted appropriately; and
  • time management – the ability to juggle multiple files for clients with complex needs while also contributing to Justice Connect’s law reform work, developing case studies and supporting the team to respond to inquiry trends.

Secondees also build knowledge and understanding of:

  • litigation procedures in various jurisdictions;
  • the complex web of legal service providers in Victoria – government, pro bono and community legal; and
  • diverse areas of law from employment law to administrative law, charity law, property law, elder law and beyond.

Secondees are given a degree of autonomy over their client work that allows them to think creatively, juggle multiple demanding client files and develop their professional judgment in an environment where commercial relationships are not at stake.

Am I eligible?

Lawyers at any level of practice are welcomed as secondees to Justice Connect. We ask that applicants have a demonstrated interest in social justice, that they are self-directed, confident in interacting with a wide variety of stakeholders and keen to learn about different areas of the law.

Secondments are for between 3 and 6 months, preferably on a full time basis but no less than 3 days per week.

Get in touch

Tori Edwards
Head of Pro Bono Partnerships
(02) 8599 2116
tori.edwards@justiceconnect.org.au

or contact your firm’s Pro Bono Coordinator

“The secondment was a wonderful opportunity for me to be immersed in community and pro bono work. I was able to bring knowledge back to the [Russell Kennedy] about areas of need in the community.”

Sophia McNamara, Russell Kennedy

“I enjoyed so many things – the interesting and diverse range of matters, working with a large range of people and organisations, utilising a different skill set and working alongside a very passionate and committed bunch of people.”

Dan Creasey, DLA Piper

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