Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Next open date for applications is 15.01.2019 View Grant Dates

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Case Study: WEstjustice

ProjectSchool Lawyer Program: Documenting the Model and Framework

Amount$30,000

Date2018

ProgramEducation

TRUST OBJECTIVES PROJECT OBJECTIVES
Rural and regional Victoria Strengthening the capacity of legal centres located in rural and regional Victoria which are delivering school-lawyer programs
Building organisational capacity Developing the skills and build the capacity of legal services, schools and the Education Department to effectively deliver the school lawyer program
Collaboration and partnership Social Ventures Australia, metropolitan and regional legal services, Department of Education and Training, Victoria Legal Aid, Federation of Community Legal Centres and Legal Services Board and Commission

A highly successful pilot resulted in a second grant from HMSTrust to build on the outcomes of our initial funding

The School Lawyer Program uses a new and innovative gateway to address hidden problems within a public school community and build confidence to engage with the justice system, leading to better education and life outcomes for students and their families. As interest from other school communities and legal organisations continues to grow, it was important to document the model to provide practical guidance to other organisations interested to implement a school lawyer program of their own.

Image Vincent Shin, the first WEstjustice lawyer to be embedded in a school. He continues to work at The Grange P-12 College.

In 2015, HMSTrust funded a two-year pilot to embed a lawyer within the wellbeing team of The Grange P-12 College, located in Melbourne’s western suburbs, providing accessible, free, confidential and trusted legal advice to school students. The pilot was extremely successful, attracting attention across Australia and internationally.

Snapshot:

  • WEstjustice partnered with Social Ventures Australia to develop a guide so the model can be replicated in other schools with students at risk of contact with the justice system and disengagement from school.
  • The Framework:
    • defines what a School Lawyer Program is;
    • promotes the benefits of School Lawyer Programs, and;
    • provides practical guidance to organisations on how to effectively establish and operate a School Lawyer Program.
  • While the Framework relates to the program which WEstjustice has been delivering in partnership with Victorian schools, the underlying principles are relevant to all Australian jurisdictions.
  • The Framework will enable the continued development and expansion of the School Lawyer Program.

Download a copy of the School Lawyer Program Framework

Read Annabelle Roxon’s blog on the School Lawyer Project

Watch ‘The High School Lawyer’, a short 10 minute documentary about Vincent Shin

westjustice.org.au

sva.com.au

“I recognised from early on how useful this document would be and that it would be used from day one.” Annabelle Roxon, Consultant, Social Ventures Australia.