Join our dynamic legal team at Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC) on our Health Justice Partnership (HJP) with Sydney Local Health District. Based in Sydney’s inner-west, and working across NSW, MLC provides free and accessible legal and related services to people who experience social and economic disadvantage.

Marrickville Legal Centre is looking for two (2) motivated PLT volunteers with a demonstrated commitment to social justice, who can volunteer 3 days/week for 60 days.

PLTs are expected to perform two main tasks: intake and paralegal work. Intake includes interviewing clients and taking initial instructions, performing conflict checks, making client appointments, and legal research. Specific tasks relating to the Health Justice PLT Program include:

  • Assist with the coordination of the Health Justice Partnership (HJP) with Sydney Local Health District (SLHD);
  • Triage clients referred through the HJP with SLHD;
  • Attend outreaches with a supervising solicitor at Drug Health Services, Mental Health Services and other SLHD locations;
  • Assist with the preparation of legal education seminars for SLHD staff; and
  • Assist the supervising solicitor with casework for HJP clients

PLTs are supervised by a solicitor for the duration of their placement. After an orientation period, all PLTs undertake a broad range of information, referral, administrative, and legal work under supervision.

Health Justice Partnership PLT students are asked to work Monday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Friday. Negotiation of days is possible for the right candidate.

L-R: Shann Preece, Sam Marsh, Hannah Jover Stavropoulos

Sam Marsh is a champion volunteer at Marrickville Legal Centre who recently finished Practical Legal Training. Sam came through our doors in earlier this year with an interest in Family Law and the Youth Legal Service, and finally fell into MLC’s Family Law Service.

A mother of two, Sam took an interest in legal in 2008. By 2009 she had been accepted to do Commerce/Law double degree, although her true passion was law. A few years later there were stirrings again, and Sam was accepted to study straight Law in 2013.

In her first year of law school, Sam joined the Western Sydney University Law Students Association as Student Officer. As the first ever Mature Age Student (‘MAS’) Officer of the Law Students Association, her role was focused on student health & wellbeing, and mature age law students. By her penultimate year, Sam became General Manager of Law Students Association. During this time, she pioneered a legacy workshop for mature age students that would help them manage the complexity of juggling work life and study. With the assistance of a senior lecturer at Western Sydney University, Sam facilitated the workshop covering topics such as stress and time management. The 3 hour course was so warmly received, WSU Law School adopted Sam’s prototype to begin facilitating the course ongoingly for the entire law school student body.

For all of Sam’s achievements, it’s been tough breaking into professional life as a mature-age junior solicitor. Close to her graduation in 2018, Sam approached a legal recruitment specialist to ask for counsel. She asked, “How can mature age students be more attractive to prospective employers?” The response she received was “All you can do is tailor your personal brand to reflect the corporate brand of where you’re applying. We normally prefer younger applicants.”

Sam is now well-established in the Community Legal sector working at Western Sydney CLC as Legal Intake Officer looking after a team of ten, and continues to volunteer at Marrickville Legal Centre.

What’s next? Sam is ready for a graduate role and hopes to complete the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ Legal Development Program for law graduates.

Thank you for being a vibrant part of our community, Sam.

If you’d like to do your PLT at MLC, you can apply here.

Welcome to our new Domestic & Family Violence Worker, Loren! Loren is a social work graduate with a background in legal administration. She recently joined our team drawn by MLC’s commitment to social justice and proactive community involvement.
What brings you to Marrickville Legal Centre?
Approaching the end of my degree, I wanted to pursue a graduate opportunity that complimented my qualifications in social work as well as my legal administrative experience. When I came across the position and researched more about MLC, I was drawn by their commitment to social justice and proactive community involvement. I applied straight away and have enjoyed getting to know the team and local area!
Where have you worked and studied before Marrickville Legal Centre?
I worked in legal administration for 5 years in a suburban law firm in Lane Cove (Patrick Grimes & Co. Solicitors) and finished my Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Sydney this year. During my degree, I was placed at breakthru and Northern Sydney Sexual Assault Service to complete my field education hours and learned a lot about disability, young people and violence against women.
How did you begin working with people who have experienced Domestic & Family Violence?
Working at Northern Sydney Sexual Assault Service, it was quite common for survivors to have also experienced domestic and family violence. From my studies and practice experience, enduring domestic and family violence is more common than it appears and it not only impacts survivors but also observers and the communities they live in. Once I understood the prevalence of this issue, I was motivated to continue working in this sector.
Why is social justice important to you?
I believe there is a misconception that all Australians receive “a fair go” and are able to live a fulfilling quality of life if they work harder for it. What I have learned is that social justice cannot be achieved on an individual basis and that collective support and combined expertise can be effective when working towards better outcomes for Australians experiencing adversity.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am Australian born but my cultural background is half Greek, half Rotuman (Rotuma being a small Polynesian island off the mainland of Fiji).
Marrickville Legal Centre’s community-based domestic violence support service offers easily accessible, integrated legal & non-legal support services to people who have experienced family and domestic violence. If you would like support from Marrickville Legal Centre and the Domestic and Family Violence Support Service, please fill in our Domestic & Family Violence Support Service contact form or call 02 9559 2899.  If you are in immediate danger, please call 000. If you require immediate support or after hours support, please contact the Domestic Violence line on 1800 65 64 63.

This spring racing carnival, consider repurposing money that would be spent on gambling.

 

During the Spring Racing Carnival, Australians spend around $800 million on gambling. If just 1% of the $800 million Australians spend on gambling was given to community organisations like Marrickville Legal Centre, that $8 million could be used to improve the lives of disadvantaged people affected by the grief of gambling addiction.

Gambling controls the lives of problem gamblers and the lives of those around them, affecting their finances, family lives, and health. The financial abuse can leave those affected spiraling into debt and desperation.

 

Phi Phi (not real name) is a middle-aged woman from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. She works part-time, and her family all live overseas. Phi Phi had been in a relationship with William for years before it came to light that he struggled with gambling addiction. He began accessing Phi Phi’s financial accounts without her consent or knowledge. Before long, William had taken a copy of Phi Phi’s identification and signed up for personal loans in Phi Phi’s name whilst she was overseas. He also started using her credit card at his leisure. At worst, the personal loans and credit card debt surmounted $60,000. Phi Phi came to Marrickville Legal Centre in despair. Marrickville Legal Centre were able to negotiate with Phi Phi’s bank to have the loan debt completely written off and her credit report cleared, and refer Phi Phi to non-legal support services.

Phi Phi was fortunate to find help and a way out. She has now started afresh, free of the manipulative control of her ex-partner. With your contribution, Marrickville Legal Centre can help more people like Phi Phi to access justice.

 

$50 can help provide preliminary advice for someone experiencing financial abuse.

$100 can help a lawyer negotiate with a credit provider to initiate the clearing of debts due to financial abuse.

MELS Community Worker, Tu Le, presenting to service providers at Blacktown City Council, October 2019.

 

A new state-wide service is now available for migrant workers across New South Wales.

The Inner City Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre, Marrickville Legal Centre and Redfern Legal Centre have together established the service to address the employment exploitation of migrant workers.

Underpayments, non-payment of wages, bullying and sexual harassment are common workplace complaints. Migrant workers experiencing these problems can face unique challenges when seeking help. Language barriers, unfamiliarity with the Australian legal system, as well as immigration and visa concerns can create barriers to accessing legal help. Migrant workers may also have limited time in Australia to pursue a claim, or may simply believe they would not be successful if they did so.

The Migrant Employment Legal Service (MELS) seeks to address exploitation of migrant workers through  free legal advice, legal representation and engaging with communities to provide information and education.

MELS regularly delivers outreach and education to support communities with culturally appropriate information on employment related matters.

The Migrant Employment Legal Service can be contacted on 02 8002 1203, Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm.

To see where MELS are this week, or to get in touch, visit Migrant Employment Legal Service on Facebook.

Do you want to work with the new Migrant Employment Legal Service? Marrickville Legal Centre is looking for motivated PLT volunteers with a demonstrated commitment to social justice, who can volunteer part-time [3 days per week] for 75 days. Negotiation of days is possible for the right candidate.

Job type:      Practical Legal Training Volunteer

Level:            Graduate

Location:      Marrickville Legal Centre, 12-14 Seaview Street DULWICH HILL NSW 2203

Role and Context of the Position

Migrant Employment Legal Service (MELS) is a joint initiative by Inner City Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre, Marrickville Legal Centre and Redfern Legal Centre addressing exploitation of migrant workers in NSW. Migrant workers face multi-faceted exploitation in an area of law where employment, migration, corporations, taxation and other laws intersect. Research indicates that 91% of migrant workers suffer wage theft in silence. Migrant workers do not speak out for reasons such as lack of knowledge on processes or fear of immigration consequences. Migrant Employment Legal Service assists migrants and temporary visa holders with employment law matters through free legal advice and representation, and actively engages with communities to provide information and education.

PLTs are supervised by a solicitor for the duration of their placement. After an orientation period, all PLTs undertake a broad range of information, referral, administrative, and legal work under supervision.

Position Expectations

All PLTs are expected to perform two main tasks: intake and paralegal work. Intake includes interviewing clients and taking initial instructions, performing conflict checks, making client appointments, and legal research.

See our Get Involved page for more information.

How to Apply

Please email your resume, details of two referees, your academic record, and a cover letter highlighting your commitment to social justice and the work of Community Legal Centres. Please address your applications to Vasili Maroulis at vmaroulis@mlc.org.au by Friday 8 November.