Western Sydney University Justice Clinic

Who are we?

The Western Sydney University Justice Clinic is a community legal service, where practicing lawyers and academics work on client cases and law reform and access to justice projects, run health justice outreach clinics, provide community legal education, operate the university’s student legal service and teach the university’s clinical legal and internship subjects.

Client Referrals

The Justice Clinic receives regular client referrals from established partners for pro bono work, such as Legal Aid NSW applications, victims support applications for victim-survivors of violence or modern slavery, and applications and statements for humanitarian or protection visa claims.

We also work with clients and counsel to lodge communications about breaches of international conventions to United Nations committees, such as the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) and the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Recent submissions, endorsements and publications include:

Law Reform

The Justice Clinic responds to and informs identified law reform and access to justice issues. We also build ongoing relationships with community stakeholders and partners for multi-disciplinary collaborations, projects and submissions.

Some current and recently completed projects include:

  • Coercive control law reform research;
  • Development of modern slavery guides and resources;
  • Development of CLE factsheets and resources for partners on family law, child care and protection and the NDIS scheme;
  • Creation of a Therapeutic Sentencing Alternatives Database for the District Court of NSW;
  • Cross-jurisdictional domestic and international comparative analysis of model litigant and model landlord guidelines in relation to social housing;
  • Research into a fines-without-conviction sentencing option in NSW.

Health Justice Partnerships

The Justice Clinic has partnered with the WSU School of Social Sciences Community Clinics to integrate legal and counselling services as “pop-up” health justice clinics within community organisations. Community members and clients of the community organisation make an appointment to meet with supervised law students and counselling students to run through a specifically designed Legal Health Check to identify issues the client may be facing in order to connect the client with further referral and support.
At the same time as meeting a client’s legal and non-legal needs in an effective and trauma-informed way, the health justice partnership provides therapeutic services on behalf of the community organisation, and teaches graduating students the manner and benefit of working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative way with other professions while undertaking requisite placement, or practical legal training, hours.
 

Community Legal Education (CLE)

Since establishing its free community legal education (CLE) outreach programs over the past year, the Justice Clinic has worked extensively with schools across Western Sydney and regional NSW to deliver free workshops on a variety of topics including consent education, employment rights, police powers, road safety, driving licences and fines, and cybersafety laws (including sexting and intimate image abuse offences), and more. The Justice Clinic also works with youth centres, community groups and multicultural / multifaith organisations to deliver CLE initiatives.

Alongside the delivery of CLE workshops, the Justice Clinic continues to develop digital resources through mediums such as factsheets, podcasts and webinars in order to provide greater accessibility to legal information for the wider community.

Some examples of these can be found below:

If you would like to find out more about the Justice Clinic’s CLE programs, or request workshops or materials, please contact the Justice Clinic’s Admin Officer.
 

Student Legal Service (SLS)

The Student Legal Service (SLS) is a free legal advice and referral service, funded through SSAF funds and available to all current domestic and international students of WSU.

The service is provided by lawyers of the Western Sydney University Justice Clinic who, depending on the semester, may also be helped by law students completing one of the Clinic subjects.

At present, we can advise on areas of law such as tenancy and accommodation, minor criminal matters, traffic offences, employment, debt/credit issues, consumer rights, motor vehicle accidents and more.  We are unable to provide advice or representation on matters that involve, or may involve, complaints against WSU or WSU The College, or migration, visa or family law matters.

For further information or to contact the SLS, please refer to the Student Legal Service webpage or contact T. 02 9685 4788 or studentlegalservices@westernsydney.edu.au.


Guidance for International Students – Legalities and Scams


Clinical Subjects

Clinics

WSU law students who enrol in a Clinic subject for the semester are able to participate in an experiential learning program where they gain practical lawyering experience while critically reflecting on the role of the law and of lawyers in advancing justice.

Students work under the supervision of the Director, Principal Solicitor and other Clinic lawyers.  The specific placement activities and opportunities align with the other work of the Justic Clinic each semester, and will ordinarily include:

  • Working on advice, casework, policy development, submissions and / or research and reporting in substantive law reform or access to justice projects; and 
  • Assisting with client work, including for Student Legal Service clients and other clients of the Justice Clinic, which may involve instruction and advice appointments, legal research, drafting correspondence and file notes, and other client-related work.

Internships

WSU law students who enrol in the Internship subject are placed with host organisations, including public interest organisations, community legal centres, government departments, corporations, barristers’ chambers or private law firms. Internships provide students with invaluable access to opportunities to understand the law in context, to apply their formal learning about legal principles, to develop essential professional skills and to gain exposure to different career pathways. Students also complete modules and seminars run through the School of Law while completing their placement.

Justice Clinic Location and Operation

The Western Sydney University Justice Clinic is located at:

Building EJc
School of Law
Parramatta South Campus
Western Sydney University
Parramatta NSW 2151
 

Please note that the Western Sydney University Justice Clinic does not have a drop in service or general advice line for the public.

If you are a Western Sydney University student requiring legal assistance, please contact the Student Legal Service.

If you are a member of the Western Sydney community and you require legal assistance, please contact the Western Sydney Community Legal Centre.  Otherwise, please contact LawAccess NSW.    

Western Sydney University Justice Clinic Staff

Academic and Professional Staff

Rebecca Dominguez | View Profile

Rebecca Dominguez (BA Hons, MLLP Hons) is Director / Principal Solicitor with the Western Sydney University Justice Clinic and Interim Director, Clinical Legal Education in the School of Law.  The WSU Justice Clinic is a community legal service where practicing lawyers and academics work on client cases and law reform and access to justice projects, run health justice outreach clinics, provide community legal education, operate the university's Student Legal Service, and teach the university's clinical legal and internship subjects.  

Prior to joining WSU, Rebecca managed a pro bono practice at Baker McKenzie specialising in human rights and social justice cases involving modern slavery, human trafficking, family violence, elder abuse, employment, and refugee and asylum seeker claims.  Rebecca has also worked as a criminal defence lawyer representing clients of the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) and Legal Aid NSW, in-house in legal and compliance, and in private practice in worker’s compensation and public liability matters.  In addition to individual case work and representation, Rebecca partners with clients to conduct impactful research on domestic and international human rights issues, and has made multiple submissions to relevant federal and state government inquiries as well as assisted community and other stakeholders with submissions and advocacy.  She is also a peer reviewer of academic articles for a range of reputable publications and journals.

Rebecca won the 2019 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award for her legal work with those affected by family violence and modern slavery, and received the 2022 WSU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Indigenous Teaching and Learning, and the 2022 University of Technology (UTS) Alumni Award for Excellence in Law.  In 2023, she completed the University of Oxford’s Executive Leadership Programme, and continues to sit on a number of Commonwealth and NSW committees, government panels, and advisory boards focused on the legal assistance sector, human rights, and modern slavery.

Emma Doukakis

Emma Doukakis (B.Econ, L.L.M.) is the Managing Solicitor, Student Legal Service, and Solicitor / Clinical Supervisor at the Western Sydney University Justice Clinic. 

Emma’s current work includes providing clinical education and supervision to law students, managing the university’s Student Legal Service, and providing legal advice and representation to the Justice Clinic’s clients, primarily focused on victims’ compensation and generalist legal matters.  Emma is an inaugural member of the National Student Legal Service Network, and the Legal Assistance Sector Trauma-Informed Community of Practice. 

Prior to joining Western Sydney University, Emma worked extensively in disability advocacy, education, inclusion and research. 

Emma has a special interest in inclusive research methodologies and inclusive education, and as an Affiliate of University of Sydney, was a co-researcher member of the Inclusive Research Network. Emma also established an inclusive, post-secondary education program at the University of Sydney, which has grown into the award-winning uni 2 beyond initiative. 

Emma has also worked in corporate social responsibility, as Community Service Lead within the Pro Bono practice at Baker McKenzie, where Emma was a member of the Indigenous Engagement Committee and Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.

Michelle Yang

Content under update.

Dylan Conceicao

Zaky Orya

Content under update.

Contacts

Rebecca Dominguez
Director / Principal Solicitor | Interim Director, Clinical Legal Education
r.dominguez@westernsydney.edu.au

Emma Doukakis
Managing Solicitor, Student Legal Service | Solicitor / Clinical Supervisor, WSU Justice Clinic
e.doukakis@westernsydney.edu.au

Michelle Yang
Solicitor / Clinical Supervisor
m.yang@westernsydney.edu.au

Dylan Conceicao
Admin and Projects Officer
d.conceicao@westernsydney.edu.au

Zaky Orya
Subject Coordinator, Internships, WSU Justice Clinic | Casual Academic, School of Law
z.orya@westernsydney.edu.au