Our History


Community Law & Mediation (CLM), originally known as Coolock Community Law Centre, was established on 1 April 1975, as the first, independent, community-based Law Centre in Ireland. It originally served as a prototype of the Neighbourhood Law Centre that could underpin a Civil Legal Aid Scheme and be rolled out across the country.  It operated on a model which combined both a service based and strategic approach by campaigning for law reform and providing information and education on legal matters as well as assisting in individual client cases.

Solicitor and community activist Dave Ellis played a fundamental role in the work of Community Law & Mediation between 1977 and 1998, and in the development of the community law movement in Ireland.

Over the years, the organisation expanded and in 2003, the name of the organisation changed to Northside Community Law Centre to reflect the increase in catchment area from the Coolock neighbourhood to the two electoral constituencies of Dublin North Central and Dublin North East. This expansion continued with the establishment of the Mediation Service, Mediation Northside, in 2004 and the first Community Law Centre outside Dublin, Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre, in 2012. 

With this expansion of services, the community CLM serves grew beyond the original catchment area of Coolock and now includes anyone who, because of economic, social or other disadvantage, is unable to access the services CLM provides. Due to resource constraints, certain services will continue to have a local catchment area and these include legal advice clinics and mediation.

In 2014, the organisation’s name changed to Community Law & Mediation to reflect where we have come to in our forty year journey, both in terms of the type of services we provide and also the wider group of people and organisations we provide them to.




Celebrating Our 40 Years

In December 2015, Community Law & Mediation celebrated 40 years of serving the community.  We marked this significant milestone and celebrated all that has been achieved in CLM with an event attended by President Michael D. Higgins. View our film about our history below.