QPILCH services could not be provided without the assistance of student volunteers and student clinics, run in partnership with our university partners. We value their contribution and participation in QPILCH's progress and history. Students can get involved in QPILCH in a number of different ways. Please see below for more information on the options and how to register your interest.
Universities can partner with QPILCH in the provision of clinical legal education so that students are immersed in a not-for-profit organisation, exposed to real life cases, and receive guidance from experienced practitioners.
We consider clinical legal education a very positive way of increasing students' knowledge and skills and as a way to contribute to the future well-being of the profession in general, as well as providing effective services to the community.
Each clinic operates one day per week over the university semester. Students need to apply to their university to be involved in the clinics. The clinics currently in operation, with support from Griffith and Bond Universities, QUT and the University of Queensland's Pro Bono Centre, include:
- University of Queensland Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic - a clinical legal education subject coordinated by the HPLC, which involves student placements with QPILCH and private law firms, focussing on client casework and research.
- University of Queensland Mental Health Law Clinic - a joint project of QPILCH and the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland, which commenced in semester 2 of 2009. The MHLC provides advice, assistance and outreach services in mental health law and legal issues affecting people with mental illness.
- Bond University Administrative Law Clinic - a student clinic focused on providing direct legal services to disadvantaged people seeking assistance in challenging government decisions.
- Griffith University Social Justice Lawyering Clinic - a clinic of senior law students who undertake initial research and assessment of applications for public interest referral. Students also assist with QPILCH projects.
- University of Queensland Public Interest Research Clinic - Through the PIRC, students examine issues such as knowledge management, legal training, plain English writing and socio-legal research skills. They are required to undertake a topical group project and present a seminar.
- Queensland University of Technology Access to Justice Clinic - A QUT Law clinic of 6 students who assess applications for assistance from our Public Interest Referral Service and QLS and Bar Referral Services.
- Queensland University of Technology Litigation clinic - A QUT Law clinic of 6 students who conduct casework for the QPILCH's Self Representation Service.
QPILCH employs about 12 volunteer students each semester. There is an application process as we do not have enough seats to match demand. Volunteers are normally in the ultimate or penultimate year of studying law. We call for applications around week 12 of the preceding semester. If you would like to volunteer, check our website around that time.
Most student volunteers help QPILCH's Referral Services to assess applications for pro bono legal assistance. This can involve any area of civil law but not family or criminal law. We do not see clients in person but you will assess their legal case, draft advice, and probably speak to clients over the phone.
Some universities offer an internship or practical placement course. If you would like to do an internship at QPILCH, speak to your course coordinator about whether your university offers such a course. We prefer that interns work one day per week for a semester.