The Army of Volunteers
Community Law Waikato is largely volunteer based in order to cater for the extensive demand for free legal services.
We have over 100 volunteers at any given time, including 1st, 2nd and 3rd year law students, local practitioners, and other experts. Our governance team also provide their time and contribution on a voluntary basis.
The generous commitment of our volunteers is much needed and greatly appreciated. We simply couldn't do it without them!
When the Centre first opened in 1995, there was one lawyer, one manager and a part-time receptionist. Today, we have a paid team of 14 employees and an army of volunteers.
The Centre is governed by a board of trustees who volunteer their expertise to support the ground force.
Our paid team includes ten lawyers (including two managers), an advocate (who provides help with Work & Income), a community liaison, an administrator, two receptionist, and a volunteer coordinator.
We attribute the success of the work we do to our dynamic and dedicated team. Our team is passionate about making positive change in the lives of those we help.
What our volunteers say about being part of our team
“Volunteer work at Community Law Waikato is the highlight of my day. As a volunteer I feel that I am making a difference in my community and as a bonus I get to learn legal skills. Deciding to volunteer was one of the best decisions I ever made”.
"It has been a truly invaluable experience volunteering at Community Law Waikato, Whereby my interviewing skills, understanding of the law and knowledge of how best to advise clients has grown in a way that only such an opportunity as this would afford. I have experienced exceptional mentoring and support from the solicitors and supporting staff at Community Law and have developed meaningful and long-lasting connections with the team."
"The training at Community Law Waikato taught me about the legal responsibilities of a lawyer and how to interact with lawyers and clients. I also learned several approaches in regards to giving advice. I am grateful for all the lawyers at Community Law Waikato for everything they have taught me."
"My time at Community Law Waikato has been a great experience. I have been volunteering since 2016, firstly as a caseworker, and once I gained more experience, I was able to work my way up to becoming a legal assistant. I have learnt a lot from all the lawyers that work here and from lawyers that come and volunteer during the evening clinics. Just as valuable were the connections I built with the other volunteers and the lawyers. I've learnt plenty from my peers and I feel I have built networks that will help me throughout my career."
"It has helped me grow more confident as a person and has improved my speed and accuracy of work. I now know how to ask the right questions and how to approach the task at hand so that I can get it done in an efficient and timely manner”.
“Volunteering at Community Law has been one of my best experiences yet. It is incredibly rewarding to assist a team of professionals who genuinely care about the community they serve. I would highly recommend volunteering at the Centre, as one gains real world experience outside of a university context in addition to acquiring a greater understanding of whichever field of law one may choose to pursue in the future”.
"The learning is hands on, dealing with real clients and real problems. I have never had the same case twice - each case and issue has been a unique learning opportunity. At Community Law Waikato, I have been able to explore a range of fields such as family law, employment law, immigration law, criminal law, and many more."