Clinical Legal Education: Bringing law into context

31 May 2021

The UQ Pro Bono Centre regularly partners with seven Brisbane-based Community Legal Centres each semester to offer one of the most diverse clinical legal education programs in Australia. The program is currently the only work-integrated learning course provided by the Law School for academic credit and is a vital opportunity for law students to develop the practical skills they need for a successful career in the legal industry.

“In Clinical Legal Education you get to draw connections between the legal theories you explore in law school and the real-world problems that the people you help are dealing with. Bridging that gap is a really important skill in itself, especially if you want to go into legal practice.” - Mitree Vongphakdi, Clinical Legal Education student

UQ Health Advocacy Legal Clinic
UQ students and staff at the Health Advocacy Legal Clinic, LawRight

Clinical Legal Education placements provide welcome support for the community legal sector as students can provide organisations with a greater capacity to complete legal work. The program is equally an opportunity for partner organisations to invest in graduate training and development, inspiring the community lawyers and volunteers of the future.

“All Clinical Legal Education students rate it as one of the best subjects that they have undertaken during their degree. Students gain a whole host of practical legal skills, but more importantly they also get an understanding of social justice, access to justice, and what it means to give back to the community. For many, it is clearly a transformative experience.” - Mandy Shircore, Pro Bono Centre Director

Linden Peacock
UQ Law student Linden Peacock

UQ Law student Linden Peacock undertook her clinical placement at LawRight in the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic (HPLC) in Semester 2, 2020. During the placement, which was delivered remotely during the pandemic, Linden spent six weeks working on policy matters and six weeks on casework. 

The experience at HPLC was so positive for Linden that she subsequently applied for a paralegal role at LawRight. Since January, Linden has been working in LawRight’s Community and Health Justice Partnerships team. In this role, she continues to assist with casework, now regularly visiting outreach locations to help clients.

“At the start of my clinical placement, I was worried that I didn’t have the right skills or experience. Now having gone through the program, I really do believe that my skills and confidence have improved. I was also able to make a meaningful contribution to the organisation, which was so rewarding.” - Linden Peacock, Clinical Legal Education student

Applications to undertake a clinical placement for credit are now open for Semester 2, 2021. Eligible students are invited to apply via the UQ Pro Bono Centre website by 30 June: