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Community legal volunteers: Kate Fuller

Kate Fuller

Queensland has 34 not-for-profit community legal centres (CLCs) dotted across the state.

They have a long, established history of harnessing volunteer support and providing pro bono legal advice and assistance to society’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people and communities.

Volunteering Queensland – the state’s chief non-profit volunteer and community engagement organisation – estimates that as many as 700,000 of the state’s 5.18 million people give freely of their time each year to make an extraordinary impact on the people, communities and environments in which they live.

Many of these are lawyers.

As part of this week’s Queensland Law Week (May 18-24) and National Volunteer Week (May 17-23) celebrations, QLS Proctor is featuring some of the many selfless members of the profession who regularly give back to their local communities.


Kate Fuller – criminal lawyer in private practice

What motivated you to become a CLC volunteer?

I am a criminal solicitor in private practice. I have worked in the Bayside area since I was a law student, and volunteered with Bayside (CLC) since I was first admitted in 2014. I’ve been fortunate to have a fulfilling career in the law, and this is my way of contributing back to the community and helping to ensure that the people who might not be able to access a good lawyer get the advice and help that they need.

What does your volunteering role involve?

When I first commenced working with Bayside, I volunteered on a monthly basis for the Monday advice nights speaking to people about family law, criminal law, traffic law and domestic violence. Over time, I became more involved in the centre, from helping with case work and training other volunteers, until I joined the management committed in 2020. I now sit as Vice President and work closely with the volunteers, management committed and our fantastic principal lawyer.

What do you most enjoy about volunteering?

I’ve been fortunate to have a fulfilling career in the law, and this is my way of contributing back to the community and helping to ensure that the people who might not be able to access a good lawyer get the advice and help that they need.

What have you gained – personally and professionally – from volunteering at a CLC?

Personally, I’ve made a stack of friends. Professionally, I’ve learnt how to collaboratively manage a legal practice and it has improved my team building and leadership. It assists me in feeling connected to, and understanding, the dynamics of the jurisdiction that I work in, beyond just my own practice area in criminal law.

Do you find volunteering work significant, impactful or rewarding?

My volunteer work is all of these things. It brings an immense sense of accomplishment and pride. The work that I’ve done in all facets of the centre has helped to ensure that people in the Wynnum-Cleveland areas are able to access high-quality legal advice to help them through what is probably some of the most difficult issues in their lives.

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