The Mental Health Legal Centre runs a telephone legal advice line on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. We rely on volunteer solicitors to run this service.
What will volunteering for the Night Service involve?
Volunteers are trained to answer telephone calls and provide legal advice to consumers. Training involves attending an induction presentation and observing a session. The Night Service Coordinator will assist volunteers with any calls they receive. The majority of enquiries can be resolved during the telephone call. Volunteers will not be asked and are not expected to take on any file work arising from telephone calls they take. Some matters may be suitable for referral to the Centre’s day service.
How often must volunteers commit to taking telephone calls?
We ask volunteer solicitors to commit to at least one night service (two hours: 6.00pm to 8.00pm) per fortnight.
Why get involved?
Volunteering can be a great way to develop skills and to build professional and personal networks. Getting involved also offers a real opportunity to provide high quality, responsive legal advice to members of our community who are amongst those most likely to experience human rights abuses.
Consumers of mental health services often experience human rights abuses: from being detained and treated involuntarily, to being denied humane and dignified care, the highest standard of healthcare, an adequate standard of living and participation in the workforce, to being denied decision making capacity in relation to their finances or lifestyle issues. Further, most callers are extremely grateful for whatever assistance can be provided to them, as without the service they may not have access to any legal advice whatsoever.
How do I get involved?
Currently the MHLC has volunteer opportunities available (for solicitors with a Victorian practising certificate or eligible to obtain a Victorian practising certificate). As the work of the Centre grows over the next year we anticipate a greater need for solicitors and/or counsel to provide pro bono Court and Mental Health Tribunal appearances for clients across the metropolitan region.
Expressions of Interest:
- To express your interest in volunteering for the night service telephone legal advice line please send your CV marked to the attention of our Night Service Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Centre occasionally has daytime volunteer opportunities. If you would like to express your interest, please send a CV to email@example.com