Broadening Horizons: Encouraging Law Students to Work in Regional and Aboriginal Communities
On January 18, the Adelaide Law School hosted a trivarsity workshop attended by guests from our fellow South Australian law schools, industry, and the legal sector, as well as past and present Adelaide law students (most of whom had attended our immersion trips throughout rural SA in 2022).
This was one of several initiatives supported by a Law Foundation SA grant designed to encourage graduate lawyers to work in regional and Aboriginal communities and to appreciate the immense value of country work and life. The purpose of this workshop was to develop strategies for collaboration to address the critical shortfall of law graduates in the country. This amazing network of professionals helped the grant team – which includes our own Dr Mark Giancaspro, Ms Nadia Hess, Associate Professor David Plater, Mr Joel Grieger, Ms Margaret Castles, Associate Professor Peter Burdon, Associate Professor Beth Nosworthy and Dr Anna Olijnyk – to generate some fantastic ideas and we are extremely grateful to them all.
The workshop built upon the regional trips we embarked upon in 2022. In April, a group of 8 students and 4 staff attended Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Clare. Students undertook some informal law firm placements, toured local facilities, attended networking functions, engaged with industry and local government representatives, met state politicians, and were educated on local and Aboriginal culture. The September trip that followed saw 4 staff and 13 students head to Port Lincoln where students operated pop-up legal clinics, experienced working life in local law firms, networked with local lawyers and industry personnel, met federal politicians, and heard from local Aboriginal Elders and allied industry representatives about the types of work that legal professionals can do in the regions.
There are more great initiatives to come from the grant team, and we are extremely grateful once again for the support from the Law Foundation SA and from all of the lawyers, Aboriginal Elders, industry and local government representatives, politicians, and community members who have helped make the grant initiatives possible.