Public Interest Careers Guide - Refugee Legal (formerly Refugee Immigration Legal Centre)

Field of Law

Asylum Seekers

Stage of career

Secondary; Undergraduates; Practising Lawyers

Contact details

Address: Level 6, 20 Otter Street, Collingwood
Phone: 03 9413 0101
Visit the Refugee Legal Website
Contact person: Ms Bianca DeToma, Volunteer Coordinator

Description of Organisation

For over 26 years, the Refugee Legal (formerly the Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre RILC) – a non-profit – has been at the forefront of defending the rights, the dignity and the lives of asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged migrants. Refugee Legal’s history so far is full of remarkable achievements – many lives have been bettered and saved.

Refugee Legal continues to be the largest and leading provider of refugee and immigration law services in Victoria and throughout Australia. Each year we directly assist more than 5000 people. These people would not otherwise be able to access help on what are often life-threatening matters.

We also continue to be at the forefront of advocacy and test case litigation in the High Court, successfully arguing 9 out of 9 High Court cases including the ‘Malaysia Solution’ case, which has had a profound impact and changed the lives of thousands of people from danger and enabling them to rebuild their lives in safety and with dignity in our community. This work directly helping vulnerable people provides the foundation in our advocacy for fair, just and humane laws and policies.

Number of legal positions within organisation: 12-14, no human rights officer.

Information for secondary schools

Do you host school trips or send speakers to schools?

RILC will send speakers to schools by arrangement

Contact person for school trip and/or speakers: Linda Budd

Work experience placement:

We offer a range of work experience placement for secondary students. The contact person for this is Bianca Detoma.

Information for university students/graduates

Do you have a graduate clerkship program? (involving practical legal training and admission to practise)


What sort of volunteer/work experience  opportunities are available?

Volunteers make a major contribution to RILC's casework and advice service. Their commitment and generosity are greatly appreciated, and represent a vital component of the Centre's ability to substantially address the acute unmet legal need in the immigration and refugee areas.

Volunteers contribute to RILC's work in two main areas:

  • provision of immigration advice and assistance; and
  • assistance with administrative and research tasks.

To provide immigration advice and assistance as a volunteer at RILC, you must be a Registered Migration Agent. If you are interested in becoming a Registered Migration Agent, and are eligible to do so, RILC may be able to assist with registration.

Refugee Legal also provides annual in-house training and a continuing professional development seminar program for volunteers.

Contact person for volunteers:

Ms Bianca DeToma, Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: 94130160

Information for practicing lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

Registration as a migration agent or eligibility for registration as a migration agent

What prior work is viewed favourably?

Experience in refugee and/or immigration law

Where do you advertise your positions?

The Age and the Federation of Community Legal Centres' website

Do you use a recruitment agency?


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