Providing access to justice for thousands of Victorians in need.
In Australia, many people are unable to access justice due to high legal fees, asylum seeker or refugee status and other socio-economic barriers. While Government funded legal aid is available, these services turn away 160,000 people every year because they lack the capacity and funding to meet overwhelming demand.
Added to this is the inadequate number of practitioners with the capacity to provide legal aid and the tightening of government criteria under which clients can access assistance. The result is a growing number of people falling through the gap.
The expansion of Monash Law Clinics in the Melbourne CBD, Clayton, and in partnership with Springvale Monash Legal Service (SMLS) underscores the commitment of Monash Law to assisting vulnerable members of our community, whilst educating our students in practical, ethical and professional legal practice.
We work with a variety of people from different backgrounds on real cases to achieve the best possible outcome.
We empower community members through our clinical education program by:
- Providing free legal information, advice, and representation
- Raising awareness about people's legal rights and responsibilities
- Simplifying the legal process
- Improving the community’s capability and confidence to deal with and use the law and legal system
- Providing advocacy on systemic issues, including advocating for policy and law reforms on issues of importance to the local communities we serve.
Below are statistics on the assistance we provided to the community in the past year through our clinical legal education program.
Why is Clinical Legal Education important?
The benefits of CLE are three-fold:
1. Provide an invaluable service to the community
2. Students learn new skills so they can be career- ready
3. While doing so, students earn credit towards their Law degree.
Outside the confines of a classroom and into the real world, our clinical legal education provides our students the opportunity to work with real people on real cases.
A hallmark of Monash Law and highly regarded by legal professionals, our clinical legal education brings our law students to the forefront of the job market, before they even graduate.
Best described as experiential learning, our clinical legal education delivers:
- Specific knowledge and skill sets that better prepare our students for career success
- A practical learning experience with real people and real cases
- An understanding and appreciation of law’s fundamental purpose: to improve access to justice.
Our experiential learning also:
- Improves graduate employability driven by the skills and knowledge gained through participation
- Empowers and builds our students' resilience to meet the significant demands of the profession
- Enhances emotional intelligence by working closely with members of the community from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds
- Establishes lifelong professional mentors through our clinic's legal professional supervision