About Wendy Couzens – Wangaratta evening clinic volunteer
How long have you been a lawyer? Almost 5 years.
What is the name of your firm? Morgan Couzens Legal.
What attracted you to becoming a lawyer? I had worked as a law clerk for several years, and decided that I would enjoy working as a solicitor. I continued working as a clerk whilst undertaking university studies.
Why did you decide to volunteer with HRCLS? I really enjoy helping clients in a practical sense by talking the client through the legal options available and also pointing out the practical reality of what those options mean for the client’s situation. Whilst working in private practice, the clients that I help are those who already know that they need a lawyer and can afford to pay for a lawyer. Volunteering with HRCLS I can assist people who sometimes aren’t certain what type of help they need and those who, for various reasons, cannot afford to pay a lawyer to act for them.
What benefits do you get from volunteering as a lawyer? A sense of personal satisfaction and the knowledge that I am helping people in my local community with an expertise that many people don’t have.
Why would you encourage other lawyers to volunteer? Assisting people outside your usual client group shows you what issues are relevant to other people in your community and what opportunities might be out there to give back. Finding solutions to unusual problems helps to develop lateral thinking skills.
How has volunteering helped you in your day-to-day role? Volunteering broadens my perspective to include issues that people outside my normal client group are facing. My firm writes an online blog which focuses on issues related to employment law and when I write for that blog, I often draw on questions that are asked of me both in private practice and as a volunteer.
Anyone interested in volunteering with the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service can visit the Volunteer page.