Pro bono work is a great way to gain practical experience while studying. Pro bono legal services are vital to the community and are important in providing assistance for those who may not otherwise have access to justice. Learn more about pro bono work

Joining the student roster does not commit you to anything except receiving notifications of opportunities that arise. You are not committed until you specifically apply for something. You will be notified of specific opportunities that you can choose to apply for. 

Eligibility

Law students applying for roster opportunities with our partners must have completed 8 units of LAWS courses as this provides both students with the legal grounding to understand and add value to the work undertaken with our partners. Some opportunities may include a prerequisite of specific LAWS courses however that would be outlined in the position description.

The Pro Bono Centre introduced the First-Year Social Justice Program in 2022 whereby first-year law students can start their pro bono journey by engaging in social justice learning. Modules for learning are provided by the Law School as well as partners and other affiliates. This is self-directed, self-paced learning. First-year students are also invited to join the ‘Buddy Program’ whereby later year law students undertaking Clinical Legal Education will meet with first-year students twice per semester to discuss the importance of social justice work and their experience working in a social justice setting.

All law students at UQ are therefore invited to join the Pro Bono roster with first-year students enjoying the experience of learning and mentorship prior to applying for specific partner opportunities.

The experience

Pro Bono Centre partners come from a diverse range of industries, including Community Legal Centres, non-legal charities and not-for-profits, the Judiciary, religious organisations, statutory agencies, the private sector, and the UQ Community generally. The diverse nature of our partners manifests into a diverse offering of opportunities for students to engage with. This means that law students at UQ can apply for and support areas of the law or community that align with their values, interests or curiosity.

Each roster opportunity is supervised by an academic within the Law School, therefore students are mentored and supported throughout their role, learning from both the partner and UQ supervisor as their respond to the specific task at hand. The Pro Bono Centre Director oversees all projects and provides additional support to students should they need it. When applying for a role, students are making a commitment to the partner organisation to deliver high quality work in the timeframe required. The types of projects advertised also varies and may include law reform research, community legal education, administrative support, submission writing, legal research generally, client facing legal assistance, casework assistance, or organisational support.

Benefits of joining the roster

Undertaking pro bono work through the Pro Bono Centre provides you with the opportunity to engage with the law from different perspectives and through varied client and partner lived experiences. It also gives you the opportunity to find your place within the legal profession in the context of social justice. The work you do with our partners is not only incredibly rewarding, but it also provides a practical context that compliments your theoretical legal studies in law school. You will have the space to interrogate the law, to understand its role in disadvantaging certain members of society as well as its ability to empower those communities. Certain roles will expose you to the various challenges that people face navigating our complex legal system. You may also be a part of law reform, inter alia, that fundamentally, positively, impacts the way someone lives their life. This will reinforce the significance and responsibility of joining the legal profession.

The Centre is designed to support UQ law students on their social justice path from first year through to their final year and beyond into the workforce. You will apply your legal knowledge and skills to social justice objectives in a supportive environment whether with the Centre itself or with our partners. Our partners are committed to mentoring and developing the next generation of lawyers and with that provide significant opportunities for students to engage in real-world pro bono work either behind the scenes or directly with their clients.

By engaging with the Pro Bono Centre, you will get access to social justice learning modules and mentoring from other social justice minded students. There is a constant stream of pro bono roster opportunities which give you the chance to further your specific interests and values, or alternatively, learn about a new area of law. You will work with other law students and build strong relationships and support networks within those teams and within the Centre itself.

Emitis Morsali

The Pro Bono Centre is invaluable for students wishing to gain highly sought after and interesting practical legal experience. Such experience will undoubtedly set participants apart in a highly competitive professional environment, no matter what field they wish to pursue. Through the Centre, I have also been able to explore my interests in a way that would otherwise have been impossible.

- Emitis Morsali

How to join

It's easy! Sign up online. Please note: Clinical Legal Education (LAWS5180/LAWS7180) and Transnational Perspectives in Law (LAWS5233) opportunities are run separately and have their own application process each semester and summer semester respectively.

Join the Pro Bono Centre Roster

Other opportunities

In addition to adhoc roster opportunities that come into the Pro Bono Centre, there are permanent ongoing ways to engage with the legal profession and social justice.

  • Law Education and Outreach

    Research, write and deliver lessons and seminars to the community as a member of this team. You will be challenged to present legal material in a way that makes the law accessible to non-lawyers, and promotes greater understanding of laws designed to protect vulnerable families and individuals.
  • Students outside Dja Dja Wurrung Group offices

    Regional, Rural and Remote Project

    In recognition of the need for greater access to justice in Regional, Rural and Remote (RRR) areas, we partner with social justice legal services to deliver legal advice and assistance throughout Queensland. This ongoing initiative gives students the opportunity to be involved in the planning and travel associated with justice visits to RRR areas supporting community lawyers.
  • turtle swimming underwater

    Climate Justice Initiative

    Join a community of practice, generate pro bono research and strengthen engagement on climate justice within UQ and the broader legal profession.
  • Barrister Assistance Team (BAT)

    Senior law students, preferably with demonstrated research experience, are encouraged to apply to join this team. Placements arise at short notice and are subject to high standards and strict deadlines.

Want to know more? 

Visit our FAQs page for further information about pro bono opportunities organised through the Centre.

You can explore pro bono placements by looking at current pro bono opportunities on Studenthub (UQ login required) or read on below to find out more about the pro bono teams you can join.