Deakin Law Clinic has opened an office in Geelong, helping eligible locals with free family law advice.
The Deakin Law School initiative places final year law students in the clinic, with qualified lawyers to help clients resolve their legal issues.
Under lawyer supervision, students gain important practical skills, aiding in client matters including interviewing clients, drafting legal advice, drafting documents, and observing court matters.
Located at Deakin’s Waterfront campus the family law practice operates two days a week across Deakin trimesters.
Principal Solicitor and Coordinator Michele Tucker said clients can attend the office via appointment only or arrange for an online appointment if it is more appropriate.
“Deakin Law Clinic is a teaching law firm that is also a registered community legal service, primarily to provide students a chance to help clients who could otherwise not afford legal advice,” Ms Tucker said.
“Our first offering in Geelong will be assistance around family law issues, matters concerning marriage, divorce, parenting arrangements and property settlements.”
Deakin Law School has been running the Deakin Law Clinic in Melbourne’s CBD since 2017, with 550 clients assisted so far across the different practice areas of family law, employment law, criminal law, and civil and commercial law.
Ms Tucker said the school was pleased to open its new Geelong office, beginning with the family law clinic, but hoped to be able to offer other services later this year.
“We want to complement the already terrific legal services available in Geelong. At a time when these services are stretched, with an overwhelming demand for legal assistance, it’s critical that support is available for those who need it most,” she said
“Our aim is to provide legal advice, assistance and information to people who are disadvantaged in accessing legal services, and to also educate the broader community in relation to their legal rights.
“This is an important service for the community, our experienced lawyers and students can help those who struggle to access legal assistance.”
For more information, or to contact the clinic regarding family law advice, visit https://deakinlawclinic.org.au/