Law for Non-Lawyers is an
intensive, two-day training course that helps participants understand the legal
system and how to navigate their way through it. It is one of the many courses
PIAC offers to individuals, community organisations, and law students.
PIAC promotes justice and equality through its
training courses, developing the skills of community sector workers, law
students and others, enabling course participants to be effective advocates for
their clients and their communities.
Other courses PIAC runs throughout the year include Advocacy
Strategies and Advocacy Skills; Tenancy Law
for Non-Lawyers; Advanced Media Skills; and Negotiation
Skills for Advocates.
PIAC regularly works in partnership with other
organisations to deliver training.
PIAC has worked with the National Network of
Indigenous Women’s Legal Services on Our Strong Women, a
national training project to promote Indigenous women’s community leadership,
and with the NSW Mental Health Co-ordinating Council to develop training for
For many years, PIAC worked in partnership with the Cancer
Council NSW to train consumer advocates.
Over 35 participants from the Northern Territory’s
not-for-profit sector attended a two-day Advocacy Strategies and Skills
workshop in late 2012. The Northern Australia Aboriginal Justice Agency
organised the event in partnership with the Northern Territory Council of
Social Service (NTCOSS).
‘With recent NT Government budget decisions
jeopardising many non-profit services, the importance of being able to advocate
effectively and efficiently was very real for the participants,’ said Sarah
Ludowici, PIAC’s senior training officer.
‘Workshop participants were able to develop advocacy
projects on issues that were of very immediate concern,’ Ms Ludowici said.
In 2013, PIAC has again worked with the
next generation of public interest lawyers, including law students from
Macquarie University and Sydney Law School.
The Macquarie University students are participating in
the elective course, Practising in the Public Interest,
while students from Sydney Law School are undertaking the Social Justice
Clinical Summer Course.
The Practising in the Public Interest
(PIPI) program is a partnership between PIAC, PILCH and a range of legal
practices. The program introduces later-year law students to advocacy in the
public interest and exposes them to organisations that are directly involved in
public interest and pro bono initiatives.
Eight law students took part in PIAC’s inaugural Social
Justice Clinical Summer Course, offered in 2012 in partnership
with Sydney University Law School.
The four-day Social Justice Clinical Summer Course was
followed by a 12-day placement at PIAC.
PIAC staff with expertise in specialist fields such as
public interest litigation, advocacy and campaigning ran some of the course
sessions, alongside guest presenters such as Jen Robinson, one of the leading
members of the legal team representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
These courses challenge students to think outside the
traditional casework approach to law and justice by
learning about a range of public interest advocacy strategies.
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Return to People power: commitment, energy and dedication
Photo: Practising in the Public Interest, student from Macquarie University, February 2013. Photo: Amanda James.