No positions currently available.
ELC will sometimes recruit volunteers who have a demonstrated interest in social justice issues and are able to make a regular commitment each week. Typically, our volunteers work on specific projects such as research on employment law issues for a law reform submission or preparing materials for a community legal education seminar or conference.In general, we prefer volunteers who have some legal experience – for example, paralegals or students who are at least in the second year of an undergraduate law degree, Juris Doctor or post graduate law degree. We put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that our volunteers gain tangible legal and practical skills from their experience with us. For this reason, we also prefer if you are able to commit to volunteering at ELC for at least 18 months.
If you meet these criteria, we encourage you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your curriculum vitae, academic transcript and a cover letter telling us about why you want to volunteer at ELC and addressing the following selection criteria (with specific examples):
- written and verbal communication skills (including being able to effectively communicate with vulnerable clients, solicitors and other staff/volunteers);
- sound judgment and ability to work under pressure;
- time management and organisation skills (including multi-tasking);
- efficiency and ability to complete quality written work within tight timeframes;
- attention to detail;
- computer skills (including quick word processing skills);
- research; and
- client service provision.
We have a variety of other roles at The Employment Law Centre of WA including:
- community legal education and development;
- finance; and
- Board of Management roles.
ELC has a number of paid solicitor positions. However, ELC welcomes unrestricted legal practitioners with substantial employment law experience who wish to volunteer their time and knowledge through our Evening Legal Service. The Evening Legal Service is a free in-person (or over the telephone) appointment with a lawyer which is made available to particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged clients.The Evening Legal Service operates every Tuesday evening from 6pm to 8pm (except during our end of year closure). Lawyers usually have 2 client meetings with each appointment lasting approximately 45 minutes. The legal issues covered in these appointments vary. They can include interpreting and advising on employment contracts, preparing clients to represent themselves at conciliation conferences, and drafting court documents and correspondence. Lawyers are assisted by law student volunteers who provide administrative support such as taking notes throughout the meeting and preparing a written file note for the lawyer to sign off.
We are conscious that many lawyers already have commitments outside of their busy professional lives so we seek to strike a balance for those volunteering with the Evening Legal Service. Ideally, we ask that lawyers be available between 4 and 6 evenings over the course of a year.
We receive very positive feedback from our pro bono lawyers about their experiences with the Evening Legal Service and many members of the legal profession have been long term supporters in enabling ELC to provide the service.
Click here to share the experiences of some of these lawyers +/-
Volunteering for ELS gives me a great opportunity to see things from the perspective of the employee. I also appreciate being able to provide some assistance to people who may be dealing with a difficult situation at work but are not able to afford legal advice. I’ve dealt with a wide range of issues in my time volunteering for ELS, and I believe dealing with these issues has made me a better lawyer in terms of being able to provide advice on the spot that is useful to the client. I enjoy my role with ELS, and I think it is a highly worthwhile thing to do as part of giving something back to the community.
- Steve B
Volunteering as a solicitor for the Employment Law Centre of WA’s Employment Law Service has been, and continues to be, a rewarding and challenging experience. The ELC assists some of the most vulnerable employees in the State. The cases are often complex and can involve a range of challenging circumstances such as language or cultural barriers. Assisting clients in these circumstances has provided me with a significant opportunity to develop my client interview and relationship skills and to continue to develop my legal knowledge. The experience has also assisted me to continue to develop my problem solving skills, often in challenging circumstances. Assisting vulnerable members of our community and working alongside the dedicated and passionate staff at the ELC continues to be an inspiring experience and I am grateful to be able to contribute to the Service.
This is our chance as practitioners at the “big end of town” to see employment law in action up close as it affects individual people. The rewards more than make up for small amount of time volunteered.
I have been volunteering at the ELC for several years now. I have found great satisfaction in working with the ELC to assist many people who, but the ELC’s work, would never have access to appropriate advice. Many of the ELC’s clients suffer for a range of disadvantages and I’m glad that the ELC provides a vehicle to help them, even if we can only help in a small way. The ELC supports the volunteers very well with very capable administrative support and pre-meeting instructions and research. The ‘assistants’ who sit in on each meeting match the kind of compassion, commitment and efficiency that I’ve come to expect from my dealings with the ELC. I imagine that I’ll be volunteering with the ELC for many years to come.
- Steve H
I really enjoy volunteering for the ELS – it is a really rewarding opportunity to assist and help formulate legal and practical solutions for people in need of advice.
Not only is it a good and necessary community service, it is also very rewarding. Interesting, topical legal issues for clients who otherwise have no access to advice; smart and enthusiastic volunteer law student support to you in the client meeting (potential top gun employees); a small commitment of one Tuesday evening for one or two hours a few times a year.
ELC collaborates with a number of partner organisations through pro bono legal representation referrals and secondment placements from private practice and government departments.In our experience, these relationships provide many benefits to both ELC and the partner organisation. For example, it sometimes means that ELC can offer legal representation to especially disadvantaged and vulnerable clients who would otherwise have to work through complex legal issues by themselves For the partner organisation, we are told that the legal practitioners derive significant personal satisfaction from being able to use their professional skills to directly assist vulnerable clients.
Click here to share the experiences of some of these practitioners +/-
I began my secondment with ELC in May 2012. I am grateful to be given the opportunity to meet with clients, assist with law reform projects and help out with education programs in the community. It is a rewarding experience for a new lawyer. With the assistance of the team at ELC, I have been able to significantly improve my legal skills in areas that are not always readily available to first year lawyers. For example, I have begun the process of developing the skills required to interview clients and provide advice that takes into account the law and any individual characteristics or limitations of a client. However, above all else, ELC is a great team that provides a valuable service to the community and it is fantastic to be a part of that.
Working as a secondee with ELC is both a personally and professionally rewarding experience. The opportunity has allowed me to meet with and assist vulnerable members of the community. As a junior lawyer I am broadening my legal knowledge, enhancing my professional skills and improving on the level of service I can provide to clients. I really enjoy the time I spend at ELC, especially the people that I work with and being able to contribute to ELC’s objectives.