Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Women’s Legal Service Victoria

Field of Law

Community Legal Centres; Family violence; Relationship Breakdown

Stage of career

Undergraduates; Graduates; Practising Lawyers

Contact details

Address: Level 10, 277 William street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: 03 8622 0600
Visit the Womens Legal Service website
Contact person: Caitlin Watson
Email: Caitlin@womenslegal.org.au

Description of Organisation

Women's Legal Service Victoria (WLSV) is a not for profit organisation that has been providing free legal services to women for over 30 years.  They specialise in issues arising from relationship breakdown and violence against women. WLSV provides free and confidential legal information, advice, referral and representation to women in Victoria.

They initiate and participate in law reform activities, ensuring that clients' experiences are taken into account when legal policy is being developed or when changes are being made to the law.

WLSV deliver legal education, training and professional development to a range of organisations and professional groups.

They also coordinate a volunteer program with over 70 volunteers.

WLSV is funded by the Indigenous Justice and Legal Assistance Division, Attorney General's Department, Canberra and Victoria Legal Aid.

Number of legal positions within organisation

There are currently 25 legal positions within the organisation.

Information for university students/graduates

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

While the organisation does not have a formal graduate clerkship program, PLT is organised through providers.

What are you looking for in a graduate?

Be a law student – at least 2nd year.

Qualifications/skills required: Law degree, be admitted to practice

What electives/areas of study are viewed favourably?

Family law, human rights, social justice.

What prior work/volunteer work is viewed favourably?

Working at a CLC is viewed favourably.

How many graduates do you take a year?

The organisation takes up to one graduate a year.

How does one apply: Through the website, linked in, or an advertisement.

Dates for application: The dates for application are all year round.

Do you require your applicants to be recent law graduates? If so, how recent?

The organisation does not require applications to be recent law students.

Interview process: Apply by sending your cv, addressing the selection criteria, and a cover letter. Then you go through first round and second round interviews.

How many law graduates do you employ outside your graduate program, and what sort of roles do they fill?

Less than 1 graduates are employed at the organisation a year in total. Graduate positions mostly require providing advice through telephone advice services.

Do you have a minimum Grade Point Average standard for an applicant’s academic record?

There is no minimum Grade Point Average standard for an applicant’s academic record.

If there are any fails on a candidate’s academic record how will they affect the recruitment process?

Fails on a candidate’s academic record will not affect the recruitment process.

What sort of volunteer/work experience opportunities are available?

The organisation takes day or evening volunteers. Volunteers assist with casework, research and duty lawyer work. Don’t provide internships.

Contact person for volunteers: Caitlin@womenslegal.org.au

Information for practising lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

Important traits for a potential permanent employee include commitment to social justice and women’s rights.

What prior work is viewed favourably?

Prior work doesn’t necessarily have to be in the area of women’s rights, but family law experience is viewed favourably.

On average, how many positions become available per year?

Less than 1 positions usually become available a year.

How many applications do you receive for these?

Usually 60-70 applications are received a year.

Where do you advertise your positions?

Positions are advertised on websites such as Seek, ethicaljobs.com.au, Linkedin.

Do you use a recruitment agency?

No.

Advice for applicants: Review application process.

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