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Media Release

May 13 2011

Attorney-General to launch Legal Advice Clinic

UniSA Law buildingFederal Attorney-General Robert McClelland will be at UniSA’s City West Campus today to officially launch the UniSA Legal Advice Clinic.
The clinic provides confidential and free legal advice to members of the community. It is staffed by law students who offer legal advice to clients under the supervision of a managing solicitor.
UniSA Dean of Law Professor Paul Fairall says the School of Law is delighted the Attorney-General will be guest speaker at the launch, from 12 noon in the Moot Court Law Building (formalities at 12.30pm).
Prof Fairall says the clinic, which started operating in February, was the first in-house university legal advice clinic in South Australia.
“The clinic not only provides a good opportunity for students to give advice to real clients, but it also provides access to justice for people who may otherwise not be able to get it,” Prof Fairall says.
“Legal experts say there is a large gap in legal aid and this clinic will help fill that void. We are hoping to take this service to the parts of SA where it will really make a difference to the community.”
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said he congratulated UniSA on the initiative.
“The clinic will provide a front-line service to improve access to information about the law and access to legal advice,” he said.
“It’s fitting the clinic is being launched in the lead up to National Law Week. During Law Week, legal professionals are encouraged to participate in programs that help educate the community about the law. 
“Legal professionals have a responsibility to share our knowledge with the wider community and exercise our skills for the benefit of others. UniSA’s Legal Advice Clinic will allow students to put this theory into practice – volunteering their skills to help others who may not otherwise have access to legal assistance.”  

The clinic offers free advice on legal issues such as debt claims, car accidents and faulty goods but does not provide court representation or give advice to both sides in a legal dispute. The clinic is also unable to provide advice on matters of wills, power of attorney and personal injury claims and will not fund clients’ costs or expenses.
The clinic will be featured at the Courts Open Day for National Law Week on Saturday May 14. This is a community event aimed to helped raise awareness about the legal process in SA and legal issues in the community. Also as part of Law Week, a UniSA team will be part of the Walk for Justice on Monday May 16 to raise money for pro bono legal services.
The Legal Advice Clinic is located in UniSA’s Law Building and is open weekdays. For more information and appointments go to http://www.unisa.edu.au/law/clinic/default.asp

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