Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland
Field of law
Stage of career
Address: Level 1, 96-98 Lake Street, Cairns, Queensland QLD4870
Phone: (07) 4031-4766
Visit the Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland website
Contact person: Angela Strain (Office Coordinator)
Social media: Facebook and Twitter
Description of Organisation
The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland (EDO NQ) is a community legal centre specialising in environmental law. EDO NQ acts for individual citizens and conservation groups in environmental matters, pursues the improvement of environmental laws and provides legal education and information to the community.
See the mission you will be joining here:
The Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland encompasses all that area bounded by Sarina in the South-East, North to the border with Papua New Guinea, and West to the border with the Northern Territory. It encompasses Northern Queensland's offshore waters to the continental shelf, and includes the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea Marine Reserve.
The area serviced is well in excess of 1,000,000 km2.
EDO NQ always welcomes prospective lawyers who would like to find out more about their work and how they can contribute throughout the year or through our semester based volunteer program and summer and winter internships.
EDO NQ values all volunteers and makes sure that their time with EDO NQ is as challenging and stimulating as possible.
Applications are competitive as there are only a limited number of places. The best way to "get your foot in the door" is to be able to demonstrate an interest and commitment to using your legal skills in a positive way, whether to protect the environment or in pursuit of social justice.
Opportunities at EDO NQ fall under four main categories: volunteering positions, internship placements, Practical Legal Training opportunities, and graduate work experience opportunities.
Number of positions within organisation
EDO NQ's permanent staff complement consists of three lawyers supported by two administrative staff. The lawyers work in litigation as well as law reform and policy work. Students and volunteers are also accepted from areas other than law (information systems, graphic design, media relations, GIS, and public relations).
Information for university students
The EDO prefers later year law students for their interns and volunteers. Studying the subjects of administrative law and environmental law is useful, but not an essential requirement.
Internships/Integrated Work Placements
EDO NQ offers multiple positions of three weeks or more during the winter or summer semester breaks, as well as throughout the year.
How to apply for internships
Applicants interested in the internship positions must submit the prescribed application form accompanied by a current CV including Academic Transcript. Further details and the form are available on the EDO NQ website.
Applicants are short listed according to their written application including CV and Academic Transcript, and then interviewed via Skype.
A demonstrated interest in the environment.
EDO NQ has several positions available for law student volunteers during semester and throughout the year. You can apply to volunteer at any time. Law student volunteers answer the phones, undertake legal research, prepare and update Fact Sheets, assist with casework and projects and carry out administrative tasks.
Volunteers are selected on the basis of their submitted application form, CV and Academic Transcript.
Volunteering for EDO NQ offers you an opportunity to gain experience in public interest environment law, and to help EDO NQ and the environment of Northern Queensland. As a volunteer you can make an invaluable contribution to our work and how much we can do for the community.
Information for Graduates
Practical Legal Training
EDO NQ has three positions available for law graduates undertaking their Practical Legal Training (PLT). Applications are accepted throughout the year
Graduates engaged in PLT are selected on the basis of their submitted application form, CV and Academic Transcript.
Undertaking your PLT with EDO NQ offers you an opportunity to gain experience in public interest environment law, and to help EDO NQ and the environment of Northern Queensland. You can make an invaluable contribution to our work and how much we can do for the community.
EDO NQ relies on lawyers and other professionals working in related fields to assist in the areas of casework and advice, policy and law reform, and educational publishing. If you are interested in finding out more about the work of EDO NQ and how you could contribute in a professional capacity, please make contact.
What is EDO NQ looking for in a permanent employee?
EDO NQ wants employees with a passion for using legal skills to protect the environment.
Employees of EDO NQ are required to have a high level of legal skills, and be admitted to practice. A passion for using legal skills to protect the environment, and an ability to work as a part of a close-knit team of staff and volunteers is also required.
Where are permanent jobs advertised?
Available career positions are advertised at minimum on the EDO NQ website.
What electives are viewed favourably?
Administrative and/or environmental law experience will be viewed favourably. Environmental or science related subjects from another degree are also regarded highly.
What prior work/volunteer work is viewed favourably?
Any previous experience in a Community Legal Centre, or other environmental NGO, will be viewed favourably in terms of being demonstrable of your commitment to using the law to protect the environment.
Advice for all applicants
Unfortunately EDO NQ gets far more applications than it can accept, so if there are areas of your study and experience that you think makes you well suited to EDO NQ, please highlight them.