Mental Health Legal Centre Inc.
Child Protection Lawyer
The Mental Health Legal Centre is a specialist community legal centre that provides legal advice to people experiencing mental illness. MHLC is co-located with RMIT University’s Centre for Innovative Justice. Our services include a state-wide telephone legal advice service, a mental health tribunal advocacy service and Inside Access, a civil legal advice service for prisoners and forensic patients.
The Mental Health Legal Centre is recruiting a lawyer to help expand its unique Inside Access project. This role will require a lawyer with a strong client focus specialising in child protection law for clients currently within DPFC. This role would be 3 days per week (0.6 FTE), 12 month contract position, with a three month probationary period.
Salary is based on SCHADS award level with salary packaging available.
Applications will be accepted until the 17th August 2017, and can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A CV and covering letter addressing key selection criteria are required.
Key Selection Criteria
1. Alignment with MHLC values.
2. Admission to legal practice in Victoria.
3. Experience as an advocate before courts or tribunals.
4. A sound understanding of the various laws which impact people with mental health problems including the Mental Health Act 2014 and Charter.
5. Experience designing and delivering community legal education.
6. Excellent communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to deal appropriately and sensitively with mental health service users and work effectively with pro bono lawyers.
7. Capacity to contribute to concurrent project evaluation.
8. Experience in engaging with students. Willingness to work in a range of outreach locations and environments across Melbourne.
9. A Victorian Driving Licence.
Prior experience working in the legal assistance sector (community legal centres or legal aid commissions).
Experience designing and delivering community legal sector work.
Experience working with health professionals.
Volunteering for the Telephone Advice Night Service
The Mental Health Legal Centre offers a telephone advice night service to mental health consumers on Tuesday and Thursdays between 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
We rely on volunteer solicitors to run this service.
What will volunteering for the Night Service Involve?
Volunteers are trained to answer telephone calls and provide legal advice to consumers. Training involves attending an induction presentation and observing a session. The Night Service Coordinator will assist volunteers with any calls they receive. The majority of enquiries can be resolved in the telephone call. Volunteers will not be asked and are not expected to take on any file work arising from telephone calls they take. Some matters may be suitable for referral to the Centre's day service.
How often must volunteers commit to taking telephone calls?
We ask volunteer solicitors to commit to at least one night service (two hours: 6.30 - 8.30pm) per fortnight.
Why get involved?
Volunteering can be a great way to develop skills and to build professional and personal networks.Getting involved also offers a real opportunity to provide high quality, responsive legal advice to members of our community who are amongst those most likely to experience human rights abuses.
Consumers of mental health services often experience human rights abuses: from being detained and treated involuntarily, to being denied humane and dignified care, the highest standard of healthcare, an adequate standard of living and participation in the workforce, to being denied decision making capacity in relation to their finances or lifestyle issues. Further, most callers are extremely grateful for whatever assistance can be provided to them, as without the service they may not have access to any legal advice whatsoever.
How do I get involved?
Currently the MHLC has volunteer opportunities available (for solicitors with a Victorian practising certificate or eligible to obtain a Victorian practising certificate). As the work of the Centre grows over the next year we anticipate a greater need for solicitors and/or counsel to provide pro bono court and Mental Health Tribunal appearances for clients across the metropolitan region.
To express your interest in volunteering for the telephone advice night service please send a CV to James Kyrios, Volunteer Coordinator (email@example.com)
The Centre may occasionally have volunteer opportunities for students in 4th Year and above. If you would like to express your interest, please send a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers who are prepared to assist with office administration tasks are also keenly encouraged to apply by forwarding an expression of interest to email@example.com.