Lawyering for change: Seven principles of strategic legal practice for community legal centres

This Australian report examines the potential for community legal centres (CLCs, analogous to Ontario's community legal clinics) to use their legal work to effect broader systemic change. The author spoke to almost 100 lawyers, advocates and academics in Australia and other jurisdictions, and used her findings from these interviews to identify the following seven key principles of strategic legal practice and advocacy:

  • engage in reflective legal practice
  • foster an agile, courageous and integrated workplace culture
  • set meaningful goals and pursue them purposefully
  • resource for advocacy to maximize case impact
  • build effective communication skills to be an effective community lawyer
  • build strong relationships with the community sector, government, and client groups
  • recognize that evaluation is essential