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ALICE O’CONNELL

Lawyer
Finding the perfect balance whether on the scales of justice or attempting a difficult yoga pose is what keeps lawyer Alice O’Connell enjoying life to the fullest. When she’s not learning another language, relaxing with friends or limbering up at a yoga class, Alice is a senior associate for Adviceline Injury Lawyers, seeking compensation for clients who have been injured from medical negligence or asbestos exposure. From legal advice to tips on improving your work/life balance, Alice is here to share her practiced advice.

Home is?
Fitzroy, Victoria

What do you do?
I’m a lawyer. I work as a Senior Associate in the personal injury division of a national corporate law firm.

You’re passionate about …
Social justice and equality, as well as my family and friends.

For everyday legal advice, where would you recommend someone to turn to?
If your legal query relates to a personal injury matter you can contact the firm I work for, Adviceline Injury Lawyers on 9225 9988 to speak directly with a lawyer for free advice. For general information online, the Fitzroy Legal Service has a very comprehensive online publication that sets out general information about different areas of law. It is available at: www.lawhandbook.org.au

How should someone find a lawyer?
The Law Institute of Victoria has a free legal referral service. You can contact the legal referral service on 9607 9550 and will receive a referral letter listing up to three firms practising in the relevant area of law in an appropriate location. You may then make an appointment with one of those firms for a free thirty-minute enquiry interview.

Are there any free legal services available?
Yes, there are a few avenues for free legal assistance in specific circumstances.

  • CLCs – Community Legal Centres who can assist with some issues.  Go to www.communitylaw.org.au/find_a_clc.php to find the closest CLC to you.
  • Legal Aid – Some people with limited financial means may be eligible for Legal Aid. Victoria Legal Aid will provide assistance to people who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
  • Pro Bono Assistance – You may be able to seek pro bono assistance from private law firms in special circumstances. The Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) refers individuals and community organisations to private law firms for pro bono assistance, if the matter meets their criteria.
  • PILCH (www.pilch.org.au) is a fantastic resource for not for profit organisations and has a specialist referral service called PilchConnect. They provide free and low cost legal information, training and legal advice

You practice yoga regularly to relax both the mind and the body. Where do you do this?
I go to the Yoga Arts Academy in Melbourne. They have great teachers and a fantastic open class that caters for beginners through to intermediate or personal tuition if you become more dedicated. I like to go to Michelle’s class on Wednesday nights, I highly recommend her.

You are also learning to speak Italian. Can you tell us where you go for your lessons?
I go to the Centre for Italian Studies in Carlton on Saturday mornings. They have lots of good teachers there, my teacher at the moment is Elena and she’s terrific, she’s very patient which is important.

You have a jam-packed schedule and mentioned you never have time to clean. So how do you keep your house clean?
I recently organised a new cleaner through Absolute Domestics, he’s name is Fabio from Brazil – very exotic and very efficient!

  • PEOPLE ALWAYS COMMENT ON YOUR PERFECT TEETH. SPILL, WHO'S YOUR DENTIST?
  • I have a great dentist, Dr Neil Harrison in Melbourne’s CBD. He makes going to the dentist manageable!