Law Talks Put Listeners On Front Foot

A weekly Otago Access Radio segment is providing insight into how New Zealand law impacts on our everyday lives.

Speak Legal is a regular feature of Thursday’s OARsome Morning Show, with programme host Jeff Harford discussing a different legal topic each week with Community Law Otago volunteer law students.

Community Law Otago managing solicitor Caryl O’Connor said the radio spot was one of a range of legal education initiatives under way. Others included the programme of free talks that had been operating in Otago for the past 30 years, with the aim of providing practical and accessible information on everyday legal issues to the Otago community.

“Law Centres around New Zealand are all about access to justice. That means smoothing the pathways for people and giving them the platforms they need to move a legal issue forward.

“We endeavour to put people on the front foot rather than having to react to something that’s being done to them. If they can foresee something happening and work to put themselves in the best position possible, that’s got to be a good thing.”

The senior law students contributing to the Speak Legal series were free to explore an area of particular interest to them but the aim was to cover the issues that most commonly arose at Community Law Otago’s drop-in advice clinics.

Radio also provided an opportunity for students to test their presentation skills.

“They have to be succinct and accurate, and they have to make interesting,” Ms O’Connor said.

“That can sometimes be quite difficult with law, so they’ve got to be a bit creative with how they put their talks together.”

Community Law Otago had recently moved from its former Filluel St location to new premises at 169 Princes St. Information on clinics and resources could be found at

Speak Legal airs Thursdays at 9.10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from

Photo: Legally speaking: Senior law student Jared Papps (left) talks law with Jeff Harford on Otago Access Radio’s Speak Legal segment.