Clinical Legal Education, Social Work Field Education & Financial Counselling placements

RMIT law, financial counselling and social work students have the opportunity to complete placements, providing legal and social work support to vulnerable people. Placement opportunities are available at the Mental Health Legal Centre (MHLC), the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women (LACW), the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) and the Young Workers Centre (YWC).

Student Caitlin Jane on placement at the Mental Health Legal Centre.

Juris Doctor students

Clinical Legal Education (CLE) is a JD elective subject that is offered in Semesters 1, 2 and Summer. CLE introduces students to the practice of law. Under the supervision of the Course Coordinators and staff at placement organisations, students are provided with the rare opportunity to deliver pro bono legal services to real clients.

Course credit available: If selected, JD students can complete this work for LAW2434 Clinical Legal Education subject to meeting course prerequisites.

Social Work students

Social Work Field Education A is a core placement opportunity in which students can apply their knowledge and skills in a workplace context.

Course credit available: If selected, Social Work students can complete this work for Social Work Field Education A subject to meeting course prerequisites.

Financial Counselling Students

The Diploma of Financial Counselling includes a 220 hour structured structured work placement. Students are supervised by a Senior Financial Counsellor and the placement offers an opportunity to provide Financial Counselling to real clients.

Selection is via application and interview upon advice from your Program Manager or Lead Lecturer. The placement is held on a fortnightly basis and will provide 110 of the required hours. Placement is offered between April-October.

Placement opportunities are available at:

Mental Health Legal Centre

The Mental Health Legal Centre (MHLC) is a specialist community legal centre providing free and confidential legal services to anyone who has experienced mental illness where their legal problem relates to their mental illness. During this course students will assist MHLC staff to deliver the Centre’s programs, including “Inside Access”, a program that delivers legal advice to prisoners and forensic patients. This involves accompanying MHLC legal and social work supervisors and students to visit prisoners to provide legal advice and assistance with a range of legal issues such as housing law, fines and infringements, family and children’s issues and administrative law matters involving Centrelink payments or Freedom of Information. Under the supervision of MHLC lawyers, social workers and financial counsellors, students will interview clients, talk through their legal, social work and financial counselling issues, and provide advice or support under supervision.

Mental Health Legal Centre website

Law & Advocacy Centre for Women

*law and social work students

The Law and Advocacy Centre for Women (LACW) is a community legal centre that provides a unique service for women who are in or at risk of entering the criminal justice system. Support is provided through a comprehensive, wrap-around service which includes criminal defence and other legal advice and representation alongside therapeutic case management and social work support. These services are offered with a view to providing pathways out of the justice system for socially and economically disadvantaged women. Students will undertake a range of tasks, including assisting LACW staff to prepare briefs for Court, assisting with ongoing file work, and completing comprehensive intake processes for new clients. LACW is located on RMIT premises.

Law & Advocacy Centre for Women website

Young Workers Centre

*law students only

The Young Workers Centre (YWC) is Victoria’s only specialist employment law community legal centre for young people. The YWC provides legal advice and assistance to Victorians aged 30 and under with issues at work including:

  • Wage theft
  • Other issues with pay or conditions
  • Unfair dismissals
  • Health and safety
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Discrimination

Students undertake placement at this new community legal centre located at Trades Hall, close by to RMIT. On placement, students will be providing advice to young people around employment related legal issues.

Young Workers Centre website

Neighbourhood Justice Centre

*law students only

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) was established in 2007 and is Australia’s only community justice centre. It includes a multi-jurisdictional court located in Collingwood, Melbourne and serves the City of Yarra. Through bringing together a multi-jurisdictional court with a wide array of support services and community initiatives, the NJC aims to resolve disputes and offending by addressing the underlying causes of harmful behaviour and tackling social disadvantage. In conjunction with the Centre for Innovative Justice, the NJC has established Fines Assist, an advice clinic supervised by a lawyer and staffed by RMIT JD and financial counselling students.

Students take instructions from people who visit the NJC and work with the financial counselling students under the supervision of financial counsellor and a lawyer to help them address their fines and infringements. It is anticipated that there may be opportunities for students to do some advocacy before the court on behalf of clients.

Neighbourhood Justice Centre website

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