22 March 2024

On Thursday 21 March, Fitzroy Legal Service staff, current and past volunteers came together to welcome some 80 new FLS volunteers to drive forward the organisation’s free legal Night Service and provide vital support throughout the year.

This new cohort takes FLS’s longstanding volunteer program to just under 200 people including lawyers, law and arts students, experienced social workers and communication professionals who together will provide vital legal advice and assistance to thousands of people in our community.

As FLS Life Member and former Night Service volunteer for quarter of a century  Henrik Lassen said, our community and the legal profession are better for it.

Pictured: Henrik Lassen, FLS Life Member and former Night Service volunteer, addresses new volunteers.

Speaking to its grassroots origin in Fitzroy, Henrik said the Night Service played an important role in the community as a place of connection and safety.

“People would come to our office to get out of the rain, or to have a cup of coffee, even when it wasn’t any good.”

“From what I understand funding remains an issue, and back in the day it was no different. It was hard to find a pen and when computers began to be used, there was always the issue of what the login details were.”

Interim CEO Hamish McLachlan also welcomed the new cohort to this long-standing legacy of sector disruption.

Pictured: Hamish McLachlan, FLS Interim CEO, welcomes new FLS volunteers.

“Countless volunteers have provided immeasurable hours of free advice and assistance, with 279 FLS volunteers providing 9000 hours of their time last year alone,” Hamish said.

“We cannot provide the services that so many people in our community rely on without our volunteer program and the invaluable support from each of you.”

Of the 80 new volunteers, some 30 have been recruited as volunteer lawyers, 20 as volunteer admin support, and a growing number of volunteers to support FLS’s Day Service including Family Law and Family Violence, Criminal Law and Drug Outreach, Q+Law, WILO and more.

FLS is also grateful to have the voluntary support of close to 20 lawyers from both Dentons and DLA Piper who will also be donating their time with our Night Service over 2024.

Special thanks to The Workers Club in Fitzroy, and Grill’d Northland and Collingwood, for kindly hosting and supporting this important event.

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