The awards and recognition many of our staff receive are added testament to the quality of our work and commitment to helping our clients. In 2014–15, these included:

  • Louise Akenson, Assignments Family Law Managing Lawyer – elected to Chair of the Government Lawyer’s Section at the Law Institute of Victoria in February 2015
  • Helen Fatouros, Director Criminal Law – appointed as Commissioner to the Victorian Law Reform Commission in September 2014
  • Cameron Hume, Director Corporate Affairs – appointed as independent member of the joint Finance and Audit Committee for the Sentencing Advisory Council and Judicial College of Victoria in February 2015
  • Meagan Keogh, Director Legal Practice – appointed Chair of the Law Institute of Victoria's Accredited Specialisation Board in January 2015
  • Skye Rose, Equality Law Program Senior Lawyer – awarded Government Lawyer of the Year, 2015 Law Institute of Victoria Awards on 15 May 2015
  • James Wardlaw, Migration Lawyer – finalist for Rising Star of the Year, 2015 Law Institute of Victoria Awards, nominated during his previous employment with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

Specialist accreditation

We recognise the value of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Accredited Specialisation program as a means of ensuring quality representation for legally aided clients. We continued to support the program, which assesses and accredits the expertise of lawyers in diverse areas of law.

Our support of participants included guidance from our professional support lawyers, professional legal education lectures and intensive sessions, facilitation of study groups and provision of study notes, resources and practice exams, and payment of application fees for Victoria Legal Aid lawyers.

This year we supported lawyers to participate in the children’s law and criminal law accreditation assessment program. Our own lawyers received a 100 per cent pass rate in the specialisation programs. Please note that our accreditation program runs on a calendar-year basis and 2014 figures are reported.

Number of lawyers supported through the Accredited Specialisation program in 2013

Area of law Staff lawyers Private practitioners Staff lawyers who passed Private practitioners* who passed
Children's law 2 10 2 4
Criminal law 7** 28*** 5 14

* This includes community legal centre and private lawyers.

** Two Victoria Legal Aid lawyers withdrew.

*** Three external lawyers withdrew.

At 30 June 2015 we have:

  • 30 accredited criminal law specialists
  • 9 accredited family law specialists
  • 20 accredited children’s law specialists
  • 1 accredited immigration law specialist
  • 1 accredited administrative law specialist.

Number of lawyers supported through the Accredited Specialisation program in 2014*

Area of law Victoria Legal Aid lawyers External lawyers**
Family law 3 1
Administrative law 1 0

* Exams will be conducted in July and August 2015.

** This includes community legal centre and private lawyers.