I have been a volunteer mediator with Community Law and Mediation for four years now and have really enjoyed being part of the very dynamic team that is CLM. As mediators, we are neutral, impartial facilitators who assist parties in a dispute to negotiate and agree on the best way forward for them. In the case of separating couples, parents can come to agreement about their co-parenting responsibilities, future living arrangements, basic budget and maintenance issues etc. At CLM, a safe and confidential environment is provided where parties in dispute can come together, with two trained accredited mediators, and take the opportunity to resolve their dispute in a collaborative, voluntary and respectful manner.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity that you have afforded me to gain an insight into community law. I really have been touched by the passion, skill and dedication of everyone involved in the work of CLM. You have enabled me to have exposure far greater than I could have imagined, given my short internship”.
“I worked as an intern with CLM during the second year of my Masters in UCD in 2016/2017. During my time at the law centre, I was involved in several different areas of law, including employment law, housing law and social welfare appeals. My time at CLM gave me a great insight into the daily work of a lawyer, and I enjoyed a wide range of experiences such as legal queries and research, drafting documents and attending court. These practical experiences were a tremendous complement to my studies in UCD. Being an intern with CLM has helped me develop the abilities and skills needed for a successful career in law.”
I have volunteered as a family mediator with CLM for a number of years and have been privileged to assist separating couples from the Coolock and Bray and surrounding catchment areas in agreeing shared parenting arrangements for their children together with plans for new living arrangements that make the best of what are otherwise difficult circumstances. CLM runs a very valuable service for the local communities; waiting times are relatively short, just a donation to the running of the service is requested for those in a position to do so and the competence of volunteer mediators is developed through an ongoing CPD learning programme. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to work within the two mediator co-mediation model, gaining experience across a broad range of cases and helping families resolve genuine difficulties in the interest of their children, without the strain and cost of the courts system.
Working as an Intern for Community Law & Mediation has been a truly rewarding experience. It has made me realise how crucial social policy, public interest law and access to law are for the community. Many people rely on it and I don’t think the staff here at CLM gets enough recognition for the pivotal work it does. Equal access to law is the main ethos of CLM and it has been truly inspiring to get to witness this fundamental action first hand, especially through their evening clinics, which many people heavily rely on. Throughout my internship, I was given many projects to engage with. One case I was given really struck a chord! It concerned accommodation in the Direct Provision system. This peaked an interest and I went on to research third level education for those in the Direct Provision system (or as an immigrant) and the prohibitive fees that block access for thousands of asylum-seeking/ migrant students across the country.
"Volunteering in Community Law and Mediation (previously Northside Commuity Law and Mediation Centre) normally involves Barristers and Solicitors attending the Centre as advisors. Typically CLM provides legal advice on Thursday evenings for two hours from 6pm until 8pm or until the last person has had their issue dealt with. The advisor normally sits and listens to the problem from the person seeking advice and attempts to direct or highlight the relevant area of law that applies to that individual's situation. The advice is given freely and without prejudice so that the person who engages with the process will, at the very least, leave with more information on their problem and in some cases possible routes to a solution. Most enquiries involve educating the enquirer on the particular law, the path that particular law takes in their situation, and where they fit in on this process and the possible alternatives available them. This is done in a way that is accessible to the user.
"The last 7 years that I have spent volunteering with Community Law and Mediation (previously Northside Community Law Centre) have been an absolute privilege. Through those times I’ve seen a huge change in that problems facing the clients of the law centre and the staff there have, without missing a beat, adapted to new issues.
"I started volunteering with Community Law and Mediation (previously Northside Community Law Centre) clinics in 2007. As someone with a strong interest in social issues, I saw it as a great opportunity to see on a practical level what sort of challenges were faced by people who- for whatever reason- could not access legal assistance or advice through the usual channels. I have found it hugely rewarding not only on the basis of 'giving something back' but also in honing my skills as a barrister in terms of client management and also communicating complex legal issues to clients in an understandable manner. I would recommend volunteering with the centre to anyone".
I have been a volunteer mediator with Community Law and Mediation since 2008. Since that time I have mediated on family, separating couples and workplace cases. As a result of these opportunities I have been able to qualify as a Practitioner Mediator. CLM also offered me the opportunity to train and qualify as a Conflict Management Coach and I have been practising as a (CMC) Coach for almost two years now. It is good to be able to give something back to a well-run organisation.
Being on the panel with Community Law and Mediation is truly a "win win" experience for all. As a mediator one gets to practise across a range of cases - both family and community. The process ensures that those with less experience are teamed with very competent mediators and also have access to the advice of the centre. Clients get an excellent confidential service and generally arrive at agreement saving themselves money and ensuring a better outcome for all relationships than going the courts route.
"Community Law and Mediation has been to the forefront of resolving conflict in the community for decades in Ireland. It has helped those in the community who are willing to participate to resolve their own issues in a short and inexpensive way enabling them to move on with their lives.
I can honestly say that my experience with Community Law and Mediation has been life changing. All the staff have had a major influence in helping to shape my skills and my outlook as both a mediator and a person. Their drive, vision and integrity have made Community Law and Mediation the standard against which all other volunteer mediation services should be measured. It is a great source of personal pride that I can say that I am a small part of this wonderful organisation.
“It’s so rewarding to be part of an organisation that gives so much back to its community.
“The Community Mediation Service offered by Community Law and Mediation provides a much needed response to people living and/or working in the North side of Dublin and beyond, who find themselves in conflict situations that they are unable to resolve themselves.The service adds real value to the work of already pressurised public and civil servants (e.g.housing officers, community guards, social workers etc.) by enabling them to refer conflict situations that are in some way impeding the delivery of their own particular service. Conflict needs to be managed by trained professionals who understand how such situations can be handled productively to completely eliminate the potential for destructive consequences".