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Legal Eagle’s Diverse Journey

Justin Mitchell now spends his days navigating the corridors of the Far West Community Legal Centre. As a paralegal, he is undergoing his practical legal training, a prerequisite for lawyer admission. Since early October, Mr. Mitchell has contributed to this CLC; his journey includes an internship and volunteer work at a Victorian CLC. His varied career path includes roles spanning multiple sectors.

Mr Mitchell told the Truth, “I came here (to Broken Hill) after a short stint with the Department of Regional NSW working in economic recovery programs,” he recounted that his work included supporting flood affected communities.

“I have also worked in the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) in Victoria taking 000 calls for Ambulance assistance, and I spent a decade with the Australian Federal Police in Canberra and Victoria,” he added.

If these careers weren’t inspiring enough, Mr Mitchell also enjoyed a six-year stint as a volunteer firefighter in Victoria, only resigning due to his relocation to NSW.

On reflecting about his motivation to become a solicitor, Mr Mitchell mentioned that he holds a “passionate belief in access to justice, and (I believe) that all people should have access to a reasonable standard of legal representation and advice regardless of their economic or socioeconomic circumstances.”

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He commenced his legal studies as a mature-aged student, noting he had an interest in law for as long as he could remember.

“Psychologically, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go back to university for another 5 years (I studied a double degree) but when I started working at ESTA, I realised that the only thing that got me passionate about my job was my role as a Union Delegate,” he mentioned.

In this role, he dealt with matters relating to workplace health and safety and employment law, which laid the groundwork to explore his passion for law further.

“Thus, I made the decision to do what I was passionate about,” he added.

He credited the CLC with granting him the opportunity to work on issues “that may not be commercially viable for a private practice to engage with, but that have implications for the community we live in.”

He named disability and age discrimination as two examples.

With his sights now firmly set on being admitted to the roll as a Solicitor early next year, he is planning to remain with the CLC as a Solicitor.

When the Truth asked what achievement he was proudest of in his time with the CLC, he said that “helping to refine the administrative practices and procedures to streamline records management and coordinating the CLC’s transition to a completely new IT and records management platform” rated highly.

When he isn’t working, Mr Mitchell enjoys aviation and has flown recreationally in the past. While not currently flying, he is “hoping to get back into it shortly.”

PICTURE: Justin Mitchell is swapping his hard-hat for a solicitors’ suit. Photo Supplied.

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