The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation hosts a weekly legal clinic to provide advice and assistance to children and young people across NSW. Held on Monday evenings in partnership with the Marrickville Community Legal Centre, Sydney, the clinic assists clients with a variety of legal issues.
The Youth Legal Service’s telephone advice service is often the first point of contact for young people in the community who need legal help. It plays a critical role in providing access to justice for young people across NSW.
We would like to invite lawyers from all of our client and community partners to join lawyers from Colin Biggers & Paisley participating in this legal clinic. An information and training session for volunteers will be held on Monday 13 August May 3.30 – 5.00pm at Colin Biggers & Paisley, Level 42, 2 Park Street Sydney.
For more information or to RSVP to the information and training session please contact Karen Iles, Director of Pro Bono and Responsible Business.
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Volunteers will receive a briefing note for each client and will use the clinic as the opportunity to hold a telephone appointment to provide basic advice on the evening. While the phone line will operate weekly – we are asking for volunteers to be part of a roster so that participation can be tailored.
Helping vulnerable young people
The Youth Legal Service prioritises its services for young people who – in addition to the vulnerabilities that are inherently associated with being young – experience social and economic disadvantage because they are:
- homeless or at risk of homelessness,
- a survivor of family violence,
- a young person living with a mental health problem or disability, and/or
- a young people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.
Background to Marrickville Legal Centre’s Youth Legal Service
Since 1980, Marrickville Legal Centre has operated a New South Wales state-wide legal service for children and young people up to the age of twenty-five. The Youth Legal Service at Marrickville Legal Centre is the oldest continuously operating legal service for children and young people in the state.
Today, the Youth Legal Service provides legal advice, advocacy and education to children and young people in relation to a range of different legal issues, including:
- Employment Law Problems: Young workers are particularly vulnerable to employment law problems such as being underpaid for their work, being bullied in the workplace, or being discriminated against at work;
- Criminal Law Problems: Young people – particularly those who face social and economic disadvantage – are vulnerable to becoming involved in the criminal justice system, frequently through petty offending such as minor drug possession or public order offences.
- Civil Law Problems: A fine, a debt or a seemingly minor consumer issue can quickly escalate into a significant problem for a young person who may not the experience or skills to manage these types of issues. The Youth Legal Service provides advice to young people about civil law problems in order to help young people deal with these issues at an early stage, so that they do not escalate further;
- Victims’ Compensation: Increasingly, the Youth Legal Service is approached by young people who have experienced violence, frequently from the hands of a family member.
The Youth Legal Service provides its services in a variety of different ways. It partners with community organisations including Barnados and Headspace to deliver services to particularly vulnerable young people in the community. It attends schools and youth refuges in order to deliver education about the law to young people, and youth workers. It provides a telephone advice service, which can be accessed by any young person in New South Wales who needs legal advice. The telephone advice service offers young people free and confidential advice in relation to a range of legal issues, and (where necessary) referral to other support services.
For further information on the work of the Youth Legal Service please visit Marrickville Legal Centre’s website (insert hyperlink http://www.mlc.org.au/)