Joined forces: student legal service and specialist law firm unite

The Magistrates Court Legal Advice Service (MCLAS) has formed a partnership with Lipman Karas to enhance the Service’s dedication to promoting justice access within South Australia.

The MCLAS is located in the Adelaide Magistrates Court and is staffed by final year law students from the University of Adelaide. Under the supervision of legal practitioners, students provide free legal advice in regards to minor civil claims that do not exceed $12,000. Each year the MCLAS provides hundreds of hours of pro bono legal work to support those who would otherwise be unassisted. The University of Adelaide Law School established the MCLAS in recognition that accessible and community-driven legal services should remain a cornerstone of our society and that the Service provides an unrivalled educational experience for students.

Practitioners from Lipman Karas, a specialist legal practice with an international client base, will attend the MCLAS each month to supervise students and assist with the resolution of clients’ disputes. Working with a student legal clinic will enhance Lipman Karas’ pro bono program while allowing those practitioners involved to help shape the next generation of South Australian lawyers.

“We’re absolutely thrilled about our partnership with the MCLAS. It is an important initiative in the development of Lipman Karas’ pro bono program. It provides us with a terrific opportunity to make a hands-on contribution to legal education in South Australia as well as providing much needed assistance to the litigants who access the Service.” Matt Simpson, Lipman Karas

By adopting a mentor role, Lipman Karas’ solicitors will support students by encouraging them to delve deeper into legal disputes and assist in producing timely outcomes for MCLAS clients. The opportunity to observe different approaches to legal practice will undeniably equip students on the brink of entering the profession with the skills necessary to succeed.

Alessandro De Ieso has enjoyed working at the MCLAS for the past two months and believes the partnership will support his practical learning. “Lipman Karas’ support at the MCLAS will be fantastic. We will be able to work alongside practising solicitors who can help guide us towards developing the best outcomes for our clients. The benefits of this partnership are truly threefold.”

Ultimately, the partnership will enable the MCLAS to continue to provide South Australians with inclusive legal services to support the notion of a ‘fair go’ for all. Lipman Karas’ involvement with the Service is representative of the emerging way in which leading firms can continue to support justice access within our community.

For more information please visit Free Legal Clinics here

Story by: Stephanie Ventrice and Sarah Keelan

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