The University of Newcastle is celebrating its 10th year of helping people with its unique, free beachside legal service, Law on The Beach.

Held each year over summer on the sands of Newcastle Beach, the University’s flagship, student-run service has provided free legal advice to around 1,000 clients since its inception in 2004.

Students, supervised by the University’s Legal Centre lawyers, provide advice on a range of matters including family law, discrimination, employment issues, criminal law, illegal rent increases and house evictions.

“Law on the Beach is an initiative of the University of Newcastle Legal Centre that we are very proud of,” Centre Director, Shaun McCarthy, said.

“Our students have taken on a variety of cases with particularly youth-focused issues such as rent increases and excessive or misleading mobile phone and internet charges. We have pursued some cases with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.”

Mr McCarthy said the initiative was developed as a way of reaching out to young people who may not know how to seek advice, giving them access to the law in a comfortable and approachable location.

“We see on average 100 clients each summer and by the end of 2013 around 300 students will have been a part of the program,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Law on the Beach provides a unique opportunity for law students to apply their studies to actual legal practise with real clients,” he said.

The free Law on the Beach Clinic will be held on Wednesdays from 10am to 3pm, January 23 and 31, February 6, 13 and 20 in the club room at Newcastle Surf Club.

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