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Volunteering with JobWatch: Omro’s Story

Omro Alansari credits the unique “client-facing” work, the supportive environment and hands-on experience of his JobWatch internship with supporting him to move into full-time employment as an in-house legal counsel for a corporate organisation.

May 03, 2021

Omro Alansari volunteered with JobWatch as a legal intern on the Telephone Information Service (TIS) and in the legal practice from 2017 to 2019. He credits the unique “client-facing” work, the supportive environment and hands-on experience of his JobWatch internship with supporting him to move into full-time employment as an in-house legal counsel for a corporate organisation.

I first heard about JobWatch during the final year of my law degree where the Telephone Information Service internship was advertised as an opportunity for student placements. The chance to develop specialist legal experience in a respected, clearly-defined, hands-on, client-facing role was incredibly appealing as often legal internships can be quite administrative in nature.

I started on the TIS in mid-2017 and was immediately struck by how incredibly inclusive, respectful and welcoming the JobWatch lawyers were. An open-door policy is an integral and ingrained part of JobWatch’s operating model, which means the lawyers are always willing and able to give guidance and support to TIS interns – there is no such thing as a dumb question! Because each client has their own unique set of workplace challenges, facts and issues, every call is a great opportunity for interns to learn something new about employment law from the JobWatch lawyers.

One of the most rewarding things about working on the TIS is supporting clients during what is normally a big challenge or issue in their lives. I would take calls from vulnerable clients who were feeling lost and not sure where to begin with their workplace issue. After speaking to us, they’ve usually been empowered and equipped to have difficult but necessary conversations at work, or they’ve been given the correct information about where to go for the next steps. It’s a privilege to play that supporting role.

JobWatch stands out because they flawlessly balance the training and education of their interns, with the need to deliver quality essential services to their clients. While JobWatch advocates for workers’ rights, in my experience JobWatch is not anti-employer and JobWatch is apolitical. Interns can also get involved with other aspects of JobWatch, including supporting the Legal Practice with research and case management and community legal education through info stands at different events. These diverse experiences give you a really well-rounded understanding of how a community legal centre works.

I have no doubt that my JobWatch experience helped me to move into full-time employment after graduating. Being part of hundreds of solutions for clients is a unique selling point, and JobWatch is well-respected in the legal sector. You also gain a lot of self-confidence when you work at JobWatch, as you’re supported by the people around you and rewarded by the work that you do – and that is very important as you start interviewing for full-time positions.

It was truly a privilege to work at JobWatch and I can’t recommend it enough to law students and graduates.

Interested in becoming a JobWatch intern or volunteer?

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