Hi there I’m Chiraag and I was a volunteer paralegal with HALC for about 5 months in 2014. I walked into the office on my first day expecting to work on niche little medical matters – how little I knew!
Over my five months I worked on everything from migration to criminal matters, with splashes of insurance, privacy and estate planning thrown in. It was amazing how much I learned about the law and practicing it in my time there.
One of the most exciting (at least intellectually) matters I worked on was drafting a brief for counsel in a special leave application to the High Court, seeking leave to appeal a decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal. The case was about the requisite intent required to prove the offence of transmitting a serious disease with intent.
Drafting the brief required me to put to use many of the skills I had developed in law school, and it was really rewarding to find that I could grapple with the challenging legal issues at the heart of the case.
Earlier this year, the case was heard by the High Court (Zaburoni v The Queen) and our client was successful, having his conviction quashed and proceedings remitted to the Queensland District Court for re-sentencing.
I would like to think that, in some small, tiny, way, the brief I drafted way back in 2014 was reflected in the submissions and arguments put before the High Court.
Other memories from HALC are of the more personal kind – interviewing clients and hearing their tales of hardship and resilience, trying to do the small things I could to make their lives easier and less stressful, joking around with Alex, Melissa, Indraveer and the others in the office.
My time at HALC was one of the most memorable and formative of my life, and I encourage everyone to continue to support them so that they can continue with the amazing and life-changing work they do every day.
*names of clients have been changed to respect and protect their confidentiality
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