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Marrickville Legal Centre & Youth Justice Coalition PLT Volunteer 

 Job Type: Practical Legal Training Volunteer 
Level: Graduate 

Address:  
338 Illawarra Road 
Marrickville NSW 2204 

Marrickville Legal Centre is looking for a motivated PLT student with a demonstrated commitment to social justice, who can volunteer with the centre 3-5 days per week for a minimum of 60 days 

Role and Context of the Position 

Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC) provides access to justice through the provision of legal services, law reform, and community legal education, particularly for people who are disadvantaged by their social and economic circumstances. 

This role offers a PLT student the opportunity to work on a major research project in addition to assisting the Youth Legal Service with its day to day operations. 

 The Research Task 

 MLC auspices the New South Wales Youth Justice Coalition (YJC http://www.yjc.org.au/), which is a network of youth workers, children’s lawyers, policy workers and academics who work to promote the rights of children and young people in NSW and across Australia.  

 In 1990, the YJC published the Kids in Justice Report: A Blueprint for the Nineties. After much lobbying and advocacy work from YJC members, this ground-breaking report eventually led to the NSW Young Offenders Act 1997.  

In 2020 YJC will be running a symposium in association with the Sydney University Institute of Criminology to commemorate the publication of the Kids in Justice Report. The symposium aims to examine to what extent law, policy and practice on youth justice issues has changed over the past thirty years.  

MLC is seeking a practical legal training student with a demonstrated passion for law reform and research. The successful applicant will play an instrumental role in the planning and development of the 2020 symposium. 

One of the main tasks associated with this role will be to undertake a research audit of youth justice policy since the publication of the Kids in Justice Report 30 years ago.  The audit will outline significant reforms, shifts in practice and identify any key areas that still need to be addressed with a focus on the minimum age of criminal responsibility, overrepresentation of Indigenous young people and young people in care and protection systems and conditions in detention. The completed audit will play a key role in laying the ground for the symposium proceedings and may lead to publication opportunities. 

The successful applicant will be supported by YJC members from a range of government and non-government organisations. Access to all information and resources needed for research will be provided, including links to original report authors.   

Kids in Justice: A Blue Print for the Nineties can be found here: http://www.yjc.org.au/resources.html 

 The Youth Legal Service 

The PLT will also have the opportunity to work with MLC’s Youth Legal Service, which provides advice, casework and advocacy for young people across NSW. Ideally the successful candidate will be available to assist with the Youth Legal Service’s evening advice clinic, held every Monday evening in the Sydney CBD. The PLT will perform two main tasks: intake and paralegal work. This includes interviewing clients and taking initial instructions, performing conflict checks, making client appointments, legal research and supporting solicitors with follow up legal tasks. 

More information about the Youth Legal Service can be found here:  http://www.mlc.org.au/youth 

Level of Responsibility 

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. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate capacity to take initiative and work independently.  

Application Details 

It is desirable that the applicant will commence the role in July for a minimum of 3 days per week. Flexible days and hours are available by negotiation. 

Please provide your resume, details of two referees, your academic record, and a cover letter highlighting your commitment to social justice and interest in youth law reform issues.  

Enquiries and applications may be directed to Katie Green at kgreen@mlc.org.au 

 The closing date for applications is Monday 1 July 2019