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Northern light still burns after 40 years

Northern light still burns after 40 years

By Karin Derkley

Legal Biography 


North Melbourne Legal Service started in 1978 in a church. The community legal centre IMCL is still going strong. Forty years ago three idealistic young articled clerks managed to convince a local church in North Melbourne to let them use its hall once a week to provide a free legal service to the local community. Those three young men eventually became pillars of the legal profession – Supreme Court Justice Peter Almond, and barristers Peter Collinson QC and William Houghton QC. But back then they were junior lawyers with a vision to give disadvantaged communities in North Melbourne help navigating the law. Justice Almond recalls convincing a local electrician to make a neon sign to advertise what was then known as the North Melbourne Legal Service to passers-by. Each Thursday evening they would plug the cord into the church wall and drag the sign down to the street to let the community know they were open for business.

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