Experience: Interning at the EDO
Law student Felicity Brown recently did her Aurora internship at EDO NSW. Felicity is currently in her fourth year of a Bachelor Law/ Bachelor of International Relations/ Diploma of Languages (French) at the Australian National University in Canberra. Here she writes about her interning experience.
Growing up in a small town built on the mining industry, I witnessed first-hand the devastating impacts of mining on both the environment and the community. This experience led to my passion for environmental protection and law reform. While studying environmental law at university, I became particularly interested in the challenges faced by indigenous communities with the expansion of mining industries. This inspired me to apply to work with the Environmental Defenders Office NSW under the Aurora Internship Program.
While volunteering in the litigation team, I conducted research into a range of legal matters, from shark control programs to mining developments. I was able to develop my understanding of environmental law and engage further with the political debate surrounding these issues. I gained practical skills in communication, research and problem solving that were not only helpful in my experience as a volunteer but will be useful to my future career and legal studies.
A highlight of my experience was interacting with clients. I was responsible for conducting client surveys, which allowed me to learn more about the environmental concerns of the public and their interaction with the law. Clients spoke highly of EDO NSW and their services, which underlined for me the importance of their work in the community.
I was also fortunate to attend court with our team of solicitors, which was eye-opening. I heard about their experiences in court and learned from their journeys as lawyers. Throughout my internship the solicitors were kind, patient and helpful. However, it’s the dedication and passion of the solicitors and all the staff which makes the EDO a special place to volunteer.
My experience at EDO NSW not only inspired me to be more environmentally conscious but has provided me with a whole new perspective on our legal system and the role of lawyers in our society. The EDO makes a tangible difference to the lives of Australians and future generations by providing a much-needed voice for the environment. I am so grateful for this experience and would strongly encourage other law students and graduates to apply to Aurora and list the EDO as their first preference.
Applications for the Aurora Internship Program open in March and August each year. Applications for the winter 2019 round will be open from 4-29 March 2019.
Our work relies greatly on the commitment of legal students who volunteer regular time with us. Find out how to apply here.