School of law

Southern Communities Advocacy Legal Education Service Inc. (SCALES)

The Southern Communities Advocacy Legal and Education Service Inc. (SCALES) is a community legal centre and the site of the Murdoch University legal clinic and opened its doors in April 1997. SCALES was established by Murdoch University in partnership with the local community. SCALES runs a Clinical Legal Education unit and an Advanced Clinical Legal Education unit.

The clinical programs at SCALES are nationally recognised and are truly the jewel in the crown of the School of Law. Work at SCALES is very 'hands on', with students studying the operation of the legal system being responsible for real files and real clients.

SCALES provides free legal advice, information and representation to low income people living in the Kwinana and Rockingham areas. SCALES also provides a state wide service in the area of immigration. SCALES deals with clients predominantly in the following areas: criminal law; domestic violence; family law; public housing and tenancy; immigration and refugee law; Centrelink; criminal injuries compensation, equal opportunity claims, consumer, contract, debt and civil law.

The main office is located in Rockingham, with offices in the Law School building at Murdoch University’s South Street campus.

In addition to representing clients, the clinical program includes non-litigation strategies for legal change, like community education, law reform, as well as professional responsibility, a variety of practice-related writing opportunities, and guided reflection on the professional role and its responsibilities to the larger society.

Students at SCALES help provide legal advice and assistance to about 800-900 people a year who otherwise would not have access to assistance. During the course of each academic year SCALES offered clinical opportunities to approximately 50% of each graduating class.

SCALES staff are recognised for their leadership and contributions in the field of clinical legal education, community law and human rights; they are regular planners and presenters at national conferences, and have written influential work. In 2002, SCALES was awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Award in Law in recognition of the excellent client work and the teaching of students about human rights in a social context.

Read the 2021-22 Annual Report.

Contact details

SCALES Community Legal Centre
Suite 3, St Nicholas Community Centre
14 Council Avenue
(PO Box 542, ROCKINGHAM WA 6968)
T: 08 95500 400
F: 08 9520 2377

Office hours

Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm
Friday 9am to noon

How to find us

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