BY MANDI HYLAND
We are very excited to re-commence our student program after many months of it being stalled due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
It was hard in March 2020 to say farewell to our student volunteers because we went into lockdown.
We previously had law students assisting our work by helping our lawyers with administrative tasks, preparing community legal education sessions and assisting us to run legal matters under supervision. We also had a cohort of students who assisted us at Geelong Magistrates Court on days when our community lawyers worked as Duty Lawyers there. Duty Lawyers are at court to assist clients seeking Family Violence Intervention orders by negotiating with the other party and representing them in court. Our student volunteers were invaluable in obtaining client details and working as paralegals to ensure the smooth running of our court days.
With Covid however, court matters became remote hearings and legal advice become online or over the phone, and it became difficult to involve our students in the processes.
We are however happy to say that this month our students and our volunteers will finally return to assist us again, both at the Magistrates Court and in our Belmont office.
Welcome back everyone. We have missed you.
Mandi is the Principal Lawyer at Barwon Community Legal Service. She joined the service in 2012 following a move from Melbourne. She has a passion for mentoring young lawyers, law students and our volunteers, with the hope that many more lawyers will see the community legal sector as a worthwhile career.