Q&A with Amelia Goodall, W+K Wellington Associate & Pro Bono Champion
In the next Q&A with W+K staff who are helping to drive our Community Footprint Program, we talk to Amelia Goodall – Associate and pro bono champion in our Wellington office.
Why are you involved in our Community Footprint Program?
I believe that it’s important to give back to the community and to use my skills and knowledge to benefit others who may not have access to legal services or the same opportunities. I also really enjoy our volunteering days which is a large part of our CSR program here in Wellington. We are lucky to have a long-standing relationship with Porirua College, a local low-decile secondary school, who we support through volunteering days and other initiatives. It’s rewarding to feel like you are adding value by using your skills to provide the students with an opportunity which they otherwise would not have, and it also gets you out of your comfort zone of every-day office life. Volunteering is also a great team building exercise.
What pro bono projects / matters are you currently involved in and establishing?
Over the years, the Wellington office has supported Porirua College by hosting days out for the students, working bees at the school and internships. We also provide an annual scholarship to a student who is in their final year at the school to go towards their university fees. Recently we held a debating day at our offices where students worked with the lawyers on a debate and then went on a tour around Parliament and the Supreme Court.
An exciting new initiative that we are currently establishing is pro bono work for the Refugee and Immigration Legal Advice Service (RILAS) based here in Wellington. RILAS assists former refugees with their applications to have their immediate family members join them in New Zealand. This process is complex and difficult for the former refugees to complete without support. This work will involve lawyers and support staff in teams assisting former refugees to engage with Immigration New Zealand to sponsor a family member to settle here in New Zealand.
We hope to get our first file soon!
Why do you think others should get involved?
I believe that volunteering and pro bono work is a great opportunity to develop skills that you may not be able to grow as a junior working on a large chargeable file or experience another area of law. It’s also rewarding to feel like you are making a worthwhile and positive impact in the community. We are lucky that Wotton + Kearney supports and provides us with the opportunity to get involved.
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