"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".