CIJ Internship Program Student Reflections S1 2018

2018 semester 1_
Students at Court of Appeal lunch

The CIJ offers a range of taster placements to RMIT Law students to give them experiences of the legal and justice system that complement their studies. In Semester 1 we had 19 students doing placements at the Court of Appeal and the Fair Work Commission. Here are some of their reflections:

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Q&A drives Access to Justice, or Fastrackers bring Order to Court


Question: How do you begin solving the problems of chaos in our courts, improving the effectiveness of volunteer legal services and reducing the over-representation of people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) in the prison system?

Answer: By bringing together 21 talented students from a range of disciplines across RMIT University, matching them with legal mentors, industry partners and leaders in the use of design thinking and then giving them a 13-week deadline to come up with solutions.

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New Zealand Study Tour insights published

December 1, 2017

Manurewa Marae_1RMIT University law and social work students recently undertook a week-long study tour to Auckland, New Zealand where they visited the Rangatahi Youth Court, Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment and the Court of New Beginnings. The study tour had a profound effect on these students and their ideas about how justice can and should be delivered. Recently, the students’ reflections were selected for publication in Therapeutic Justice in the Mainstream which is part of an international project that seeks to promote the use of therapeutic justice approaches in mainstream legal settings.  The students’ reflections can be accessed here.

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NZ study tour – a real eye opener

October 5, 2017

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Just how innovative New Zealand’s courts are came as quite a surprise to the RMIT law students who recently undertook a week long study tour.  The Rangatahi Youth Court, Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court, New Beginnings Court are all operating with compassion, sensitivity and in nimble and innovative ways, where multdisciplinary teams work together to achieve the very best outcome for those who come before their court and ensure that the justice systems acts as a positive intervention in people lives.

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Fair Work Commission Reflection

 Georgia McRae - on left
APRIL, 2017

My week at the Fair Work Commission was both eye opening and informative. Given my academic interest in employment law, this placement was a highlight of my legal studies to date. It exposed me to various areas of the Commission, ranging from registry to Chambers.

Court of Appeal Reflection

RMIT JD and VU law students with Court of Appeal Associates and other members of the legal profession
April 21, 2017

From the moment we entered the Supreme Court of Appeal, it was clear that the judges and staff saw our attendance as an opportunity to invest in the future direction of the legal profession. The internship was extremely well organised and structured providing a comprehensive insight into the machinations of the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Trials Division. A significant amount of time was afforded to us by judges and staff. Their commitment to ensuring that the internship was a rewarding experience was inspirational in the sense that it demonstrated the caring and mentoring culture of the legal profession.

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A Federal Charter of Human Rights: Would it make any difference?

Left to right Helen Metzger, Veronica Snip, Brigette Rose, Frank Aloe, Luke Fowler.
May 12, 2017

In 2016 the Centre for Innovative Justice was approached by the Human Rights Commission to conduct a project exploring and evaluating the impact that a federal Charter of Human Rights would have had on the outcomes of significant Australian cases and laws.  Below the five JD students who undertook this huge task reflect on their time working on this fascinating project.

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My week at the Fair Work Commission

RMIT JD Students Olivia Dean and Jack Faine
Dec 1, 2016

Having spent a semester studying Labour Law I was looking forward to the week at the Fair Work Commission. Like other placement opportunities throughout my degree, the FWC placement brought my understanding of the law in to the real world. It coloured between the lines of my knowledge, giving meaning and practical understanding to the legislation I’d spent the last few months trying to get my head around.

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A crop of solutions The whole Access to Justice crew

The whole Access to Justice crew
4 Nov, 2016

The second year of the Access to Justice stream of the Fastrack Innovation Program has produced a crop of potential design and technology solutions to improve service delivery across the legal assistance sector, tackle exploitation in the workplace and help those in financial hardship avoid utilities disconnections.  Listed below are the innovative solutions pitched to the judges and audience on Pitch Night…

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My week shadowing Magistrate Ann Collins


Sep 20, 2016

I recently read an article by American Professor, William P. Quigley entitled ‘Letter to a Law Student,’ where he quoted one of his students who stated that ‘the first thing I lost in law school was the reason I came.’ This quote heavily resonates with me, with the experience of undertaking a law degree diluting my initial career goals and aspirations to practice social justice lawyering. With such a high emphasis on your Grade Point Average and with success defined as gaining employment in a top-tier commercial firm, I questioned my future as a law student during the first-half of my degree. After consulting some wise individuals who insisted that the practice of law could not be more different from the drudgery of studying law, I heavily immersed myself in the practical application of law through various internships and voluntary positions, rediscovering my original motivation for studying law; the desire to help people who are most in need. Having now volunteered and worked in the community legal sector over the past two years my passion and commitment to act with and on behalf of those who are suffering due to societal neglect, social decisions or social structures and institutions has been strengthened.

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