Social Justice Practitioner-in-Residence Expression of Interest

31 January 2023
Join us at the Sydney Law School.
An opportunity for a legal practitioner working in non-government legal assistance services, or the broader not-for-profit sector, to complete a period of residency at the University of Sydney Law School.
Sydney Law School


Through its staff, students, research, and experiential teaching, Sydney Law School is aware of the considerable pressure on lawyers who provide frontline legal assistance services. These lawyers have very little time to pause, reflect, research and refresh. This has many consequences, one of which is that they are not able to further develop, or share widely, their intimate knowledge of marginalised communities, legal needs, issues of access to justice, and the practice of community law into considered research. 

About the opportunity

With the support of the Kim Santow Law and Social Justice Fund, Sydney Law School offers frontline legal assistance lawyers an opportunity to be appointed as Social Justice Practitioner-in-Residence (SJPR). In that role, they will be able to reflect on their professional practice with the benefit of distance and time, to explore ways to improve their practice and/or the system within which they work and share their knowledge and insights more widely.

During their residency, the SJPR will spend between six weeks and twelve weeks (as they choose) full-time and physically in the Law School, reflecting on their work, conducting research, and in discussion with Law School staff and students, with support and guidance from legal academics with relevant knowledge.

The SJPR must fulfill two requirements during their residency:

1. produce a paper which interrogates or reflects on a social justice issue within their experience of expertise, to present to staff and students at the end of residency and, potentially, for wider publication

2. host an informal workshop with Sydney Law School research students with similar interests or expertise.

The residency is not available remotely. It is expected to be full time but is available on the same days and hours that reflect the SJPR’s principal employment arrangements.


You are invited to apply if you are a legal practitioner who is employed in non-government legal assistance services (Family Advocacy and Support Services; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal 2

Services; Community Legal Centres; Specialist domestic violence services and health justice partnerships; Family Relationship Centres; and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services) or in the provision of legal assistance services through the broader not-for-profit sector.

You are welcome to apply if you have been employed in non-government legal assistance services but are not in current or stable employment. You must have completed a law degree and have at least one year’s post-admission experience in Australia. Note: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Remuneration and support

The SJPR will receive their usual salary for the period of secondment, and their employer will be reimbursed in accordance with the secondment arrangement. Alternative remuneration arrangements will be made for an SJPR who is not in current or stable employment may apply for the residency.

The SJPR will have access to the resources of the university, including desk space, library resources, academic connections, law school classes, seminars and conferences.

Expression of interest information

To express your interest, you must submit:

  • a statement of purpose (max. 500 words) which: o briefly describes your existing practice 
  • outlines a research or reflection proposal 
  • explains how the residence will advance your social justice work, or an understanding of an issue of social justice, and 
  • states the preferred period (between six and 12 weeks) and preferred timing in 2023. 
  • your CV (max. 3 pages) including any publications and research experience
  • one letter of recommendation.

Selection and commencement

A short list of interviewees will be selected by a panel from the Law School’s Social Justice Advisory Group, having regard to:

1. the novelty of the proposal

2. alignment of the proposal with the applicant’s existing or previous practice, and

3. the apparent feasibility of achieving the proposed outcome.

Interviews will be conducted in early March, and the successful applicant will be notified by mid-March.

The SJPR will commence their full-time residency of between six weeks and twelve weeks on an agreed date in 2023.

Expression of interest submission

Expressions of interest, addressed to Professor Simon Rice, must be submitted to <>by 5.00 pm Monday 27th February 2023.

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