University of Canterbury
Meet the team
Who are we?
Law for Change UC is a UCSA affiliated club and is openly available to every student on campus.
Our kaupapa is to empower UC students to use their legal education in the public interest. The club encapsulates a diverse network of students all connected with this common mentality.
We see the benefit of our club being three-fold;
BENEFIT TO THE STUDENT
Beneficial to the individual student as it provides them with practical legal skills to utilise throughout their legal career.
BENEFIT TO THE COMMUNITY
Promotes justice in the wider Christchurch community by helping those who do not have the resources to access sufficient legal information.
BENEFIT TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION
Having students interact with the community ultimately creates a more public-spirited legal profession in Aotearoa.
To achieve our kaupapa, we have found it effective to split our club activities in to two limbs: projects and events.
Most notably, our projects aspect comprises of our 'Prison Education Project', our 'Volunteering Guide' for students, and a strong relationship with Community Law Canterbury. An in depth outline of these projects can be found below.
Our events aim to discuss real world issues and spark conversations of change within the legal community at UC.
PRISON EDUCATION PROJECT
TE WERO I TE AO
The Prison Education Project is an initiative in collaboration with the Department of Corrections, Community Law Canterbury and 'Crimsoc' (UC Criminal Justice Society).
The project provides volunteers the opportunity to go inside the youth unit in a Christchurch prison and give informative seminars about applicable areas of law. This aims to provide the young men with a foundation of practical skills and knowledge. To date, the subject of these seminars have included employment, tenancy, family law, wellbeing, money, protection orders and harassment. The volunteers involved have recieved training from Corrections and Community Law Canterbury and now go out the the Prisons fortnightly to deliver these seminars.
Our hope is that this information will contribute towards reducing recidivism within youth offenders.
The success of the project was recently recognised by being awarded 'Best New Initiative' at the University of Canterbury 'Supreme Club Awards'.
LLB(HONS)/BACHELOR OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
"The Prison Project has allowed for excellent career insight, as well as educating me as to the importance of empathy and understanding the complex factors behind patterns of criminality".
BACHELOR OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
"Te Wero I Te Ao has challanged my understanding of the criminal justice system, as well as given me a unique perspective into the thoughts and feelings of those caught within it. It further allows me to use my knowledge in an attempt to make a difference in offender’s lives.”
Isabel Van Tuinen
"The Prison Project has given me an incredible opportunity to develop my communication skills by learning to explain complex legal concepts to a different demographic than I'm ordinarily used to."
Members of our executive are tasked with creating a guide outlining the volunteering opportunities outside of Law for Change which we distribute to students.
This has previously been targeted at promoting Community Law Canterbury projects. However, in 2021 we have produced two guides. One Legal focused Volunteering Guide including opportunities at Community Law Canterbury and one Non Legal Focused Guide. This non legal guide lists opportunities for students pursuing a degree other than Law or for first year Law students.
We are further intending to increase the outreach of this guide by advertising it in lectures and having it readily accessible on our social media platforms.
Community Law Canterbury Relationship
Law for Change is 'the face' of Community Law Canterbury (CLC) on the UC campus in 2020. This responsibility means hosting information sessions about the different volunteering roles at CLC, advertising these positions to the UC Law School as well as being the first point of contact if there are any inquiries about these applications. Law for Change further collects these applications and send them to CLC as a middleman when completed.
In turn, CLC also supports expanding the scope of our current projects, as well as assisting us in creating new ones.
Law for Change UC hosts a range of events, from large panel discussion evenings, to workshops.
All our events aim to develop our members’ knowledge, capabilities, and sense of community.
Sexual Violence (Legislation) Bill Panel Discussion | 20th August
Alternative Law Careers Talk | 16th September
Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for more details!
Our 2020 Launch night was a casual social event which unveiled the 'fresh image' for Law for Change 2020, as well as our plans and goals for the rest of the year.
At launch nights we also endeavour to answer any queries about volunteer opportunities, our ethos, and events.
Our executive joined the Student Volunteer Army over lock down as part of the COVID-19 response team. We were tasked with vetting volunteers who would complete pharmacy runs, pick up groceries and provide childcare for essential workers and individuals who were compromised by COVID-19.
Click here to become a part of the Student Volunteer Army.
Clubs Day for Law for Change is one of the most exciting events of the year for us. At clubs day we welcome new members to our club and educate people on our kaupapa.
Click here to become a part of Law for Change.
VIRTUAL CASE COMPETITION
Covid-19 forced us to think outside the box to maintain our presence and kaupapa.
The virtual case competition required teams to come up with a creative solution for volunteer retention at Community Law Canterbury. The competition was held through zoom over the duration of a day and was much fun for all!
Click here to become a volunteer at Community Law Canterbury.