Career

Legal Aid Lawyer

Legal aid lawyers represent individuals who for financial or other reasons are not able to engage the services of a commercial lawyer. Generally, those in this occupation have an interest in social justice and welfare issues. Many of their clients come from disadvantaged backgrounds and their legal issues are often complicated by concerns such as mental illness and homelessness. Legal aid lawyers are often not paid as much as those in private practice, though new graduates can expect to receive valuable experience as entry-level roles are generally considered to more hands-on in this area than in other sectors. Legal aid lawyers are often involved with issues such as probation and parole, youth offenders, indigenous persons, domestic violence cases and victims compensation. Studies in the humanities and social sciences (e.g. aboriginal studies, women's studies) and experience working within welfare or charity organisations may improve employment opportunities and be of use in the workplace.