KLC History

Kingsford Legal Centre opened its doors in 1981 with the aim of providing free legal information and advice to people within the locality and forming a learning centre for law students.

The Centre was founded on notions of a university’s responsibility to assist in the needs of those less advantaged in the wider community. The UNSW Law School had a close working association with Redfern Legal Centre during the late 1970s, with law students encouraged to take part in community legal education projects and a small number of students holding placements. It was envisaged that a new clinical legal education program would be created at UNSW where students would assist solicitors and clients at Redfern Legal Centre, modelled on a clinical course at Springvale Legal Service run by Monash University since 1975. A proposal to form the university’s own community legal centre initially faced some opposition, with questions over whether the Law School should focus on academic teaching rather than practical training.

The creation of Kingsford Legal Centre, as proposed by the Faculty of Law, ultimately received support under the then new Vice-Chancellor Michael Birt, with the assistance of Neil Rees. The Centre aimed to provide free legal advice and in select situations take on the cases of individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation. It would also facilitate an educative role, giving students the opportunity to go beyond the theoretical aspects of the law by participating in the day-to-day operation of a community legal centre and observing the experience of community members with the legal system.

In 2006 the Centre left its original home at 11 Rainbow Street, Kingsford and moved into its current home on the ground floor of the law building on the UNSW Kensington.

For more information on the history of Kingsford Legal Centre see From the Roundabout to the Roundhouse - 25 years of KLC, written by David Nichols and published in 2006.