Youthlaw (Young People's Legal Rights Centre Inc.)

Field of Law

Youthlaw provides legal information, advice and representation on a wide range of areas of law. A list of the types of legal issues we assist with is available on our website: http://youthlaw.asn.au/free-legal-advice-for-young-people/

Community Legal Centres; Youth

Stage of Career

Undergraduates; Graduates; Practising Lawyers

Contact Details

Address: 147-155 Pelham Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Phone: 03 9113 9500
Visit the Youthlaw website
Contact person: Administrative and Volunteer Coordinator
Email: admin@youthlaw.asn.au

Description of Organisation

Youthlaw is a not-for profit specialist community legal centre that provides free legal assistance, advice and representation to youn people aged 12 to 25. Our casework is targeted towards young people experiencing disadvantage and addressing unmet legal need.

Youthlaw practices in a range of general areas including criminal law, infringements, tenancy, victims of crime applications and intervention orders. Our services include a telephone advice line, drop-in clinic, Family Violence Program, specialist Fines Clinic, outreach legal assistance, provision of community legal education, and advocacy and policy work.

Number of legal positions within organisation:

10 lawyers

Does your organisation have a human rights officer?

Yes. We have a Human Rights & Advocacy Officer

Information for secondary schools

Do you host school trips or send speakers to schools?

Our lawyers attend schools and other educational facilities to deliver community legal education sessions on a range of topics. Given our limited resources we primarily target vulnerable young people who are disengaged from mainstream education, training or employment (eg VCAL and alternative learning pathways students).

Contact person for school trip and/or speakers:

education@youthlaw.asn.au

We also have an online form for requesting a speaker on our website: http://youthlaw.asn.au/training-resources/legal-education-talks-for-young-people/

Information for university students/graduates

Do you have a graduate clerkship program?

No

Qualifications/skills required

Re our volunteer program:

See eligibility requirements and key selection criteria below.

What prior work /volunteer work is viewed favourably?

Re our volunteer program:

We view favourably work/volunteer roles involving:

  • Practical legal experience, particularly experience working/volunteering in a CLC
  • Working with vulnerable persons experiencing challenging circumstances, particularly young people
  • Administrative tasks
  • Demonstrated teamwork
  • Commitment to social justice

How many graduates do you take a year?

Re our volunteer program:

We take on about 30 volunteers each year.

How does one apply:

Re our volunteer program:

To apply applicants must send:

  • - A completed application form; and
  • - A CV (no longer than 1 page)

by email to admin@youthlaw.asn.au

Application forms will be available on our website when our yearly volunteer intake opens.

Dates for application:

Re our volunteer program:

Late January / early February each year.

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

Re our volunteer program:

No. Applicants must have completed at least one year of a relevant tertiary degree ie be in second year or above.

We invite applications from graduates however note that volunteer opportunities are only available during office hours, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Interview process:

Re our volunteer program:

Shortlisted applicants are invited to an Information and Assessment night. On the night they must complete a short written exercise and attend an interview.

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

Not really - we are a small organisation and as such the only employment opportunities we usually have are those looking for qualified lawyers with practising experience.

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

Re our volunteer program:

No. We do not ask applicants to provide a copy of their academic record.

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

Re our volunteer program:

We do not ask applicants to provide a copy of their academic record.

What sort of volunteer/work experience  opportunities are available?

We hold an annual volunteer intake in late January/early February. We advertise intake on our website and via Melbourne Legal Opportunities facebook group. Volunteer opportunities may also arise throughout the year if positions become vacant.

Volunteers are trained to provide administrative and paralegal support to Youthlaw’s lawyers and administrative staff.

To be eligible applicants must:

  • be enrolled in / a graduate of a relevant tertiary degree (eg Law, Legal Studies, Criminology, Social work etc;
  • have completed at least one year of a relevant tertiary degree (ie in second year or above);
  • be available to volunteer once a week (either half or full day) for a minimum of 12 months;
  • have/obtain a Working With Children Check.

We invite applications from graduates but note that volunteer opportunities are only available during office hours, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Applicants must also address the key selection criteria:

  • strong written and verbal communication skills
  • ability to take direction, follow instructions and exercise initiative where appropriate
  • reliability and commitment to regular attendance
  • excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with young people experiencing disadvantage and challenging circumstances (eg homelessness, mental illness, substance addiction, family violence)
  • commitment to Youthlaw’s values and an interest in social justice

Contact person for volunteers: Administrative and Volunteer Coordinator admin@youthlaw.asn.au

Information for practising lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

  • A minimum of 2 years legal experience in criminal, admin and civil law areas.
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Proven ability to work in a team
  • Ability to exercise initiative
  • Demonstrated passion for and/or interest in youth justice
  • Enthusiastic attitude

What prior work is viewed favourably?

  • CLC or Legal Aid legal experience
  • Legal Aid legal experience
  • Relevant volunteer experience will also be considered

On average, how many positions become available per year?

Positions become available infrequently, on average about one every two years.

How many applications do you receive for these?

Generally, we receive at least 40 applications though this can vary depending on the position.

Where do you advertise your positions?

  • Youthlaw's website
  • Ethical Jobs
  • ictoria Legal Aid and CLC sector advertising

Do you use a recruitment agency?

No

Advice for applicants:

Ensure that your application clearly sets out your relevant previous experience with specific dates and demonstrates an understanding of Youthlaw’s values and key objectives.

Your cover letter should address all selection criteria and include specific examples demonstrating how you meet the criteria.

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