Accredited specialisation – good for lawyers, great for clients

Accredited specialisation – good for lawyers, great for clients

Monday, 15 February 2021

Congratulations to our lawyers, private practitioners and community legal centre and government lawyers who recently earned accredited specialisation in criminal law and children’s law.

Specialist accreditation is earned through the Law Institute Victoria Accredited Specialisation Program and the rigorous three-tiered assessments require lawyers to demonstrate superior knowledge, experience and proficiency with the capacity to apply that knowledge and proficiency in practice.

In recognition of the challenges facing those seeking specialist accreditation, our study support program provides invaluable guidance, support and assistance to our lawyers and panel practitioners in the lead up to their exams.

Professional Support Managing Lawyer Hala Atwa is a strong advocate of the benefits of accredited specialisation and our study support program.

‘Accredited specialisation is a win-win situation for lawyers and clients alike. Lawyers broaden their knowledge of the law and legally aided clients receive quality legal services from the enhanced skills and knowledge attained by their lawyer through specialist accreditation.

‘Our study support program includes study groups providing an opportunity for practitioners to collaborate and share knowledge, experience and resources, and we also offer professional legal education workshops.

‘The study support program is available to our lawyers, community legal centre lawyers and our practice partners involved in the delivery of services to legally aided clients,’ said Hala.

Professional Support Lawyer and accredited specialist in Criminal Law, Jennifer Schubert said earning specialist accreditation was challenging at the best of times, but the onset of COVID last year made it even more demanding.

‘Our study support program pivoted to an online format, exams were taken online and candidates had to adjust to studying in online groups after COVID prevented face-to-face meetings.

‘The COVID restrictions also resulted in specialisation exams being deferred for three months, and this was particularly challenging for some of our candidates who had to schedule exams around giving birth to babies,’ said Jennifer.

We congratulate our staff and the following private practitioners to whom Victoria Legal Aid provided study support, and who earned criminal law and children’s law accredited specialisation:

Criminal law

Victoria Legal Aid

  • Jacqui Caust – Summary Crime team
  • Katrina Hartman – Summary Crime team
  • Natalie Elliott – Summary Crime
  • Bronwen Robertson – Indictable Crime team
  • Glenn Cooper – Indictable Crime team
  • Lauren Bowden – Sunshine office
  • Sarah Wood – Geelong office
  • Christina Cussen – Dandenong office

Private practitioners

  • David Rofe – Chester Metcalfe & Co
  • Emma King – Slater & King Lawyers
  • Nadia Giorgianni – Giorgianni & Liang Lawyers
  • Anh Liang - Giorgianni & Liang Lawyers
  • Daniel Walsh – Dribbin & Brown Criminal Law
  • Dee Giannopoulos – Doogue George
  • Louis Dean – Slades and Parsons
  • Stephanie Mawby – Criminal Lawyers Geelong

Community legal centres

  • Angus Woodward – West Justice
  • Hui Zhou – Fitzroy Legal Service Inc
  • Franky Bain – Fitzroy Legal Service Inc


  • Alice Cooney – County Court of Victoria

Children’s law

Victoria Legal Aid

  • Alice Bewley – Ballarat office
  • Barbara Tindall – Youth Crime
  • Fiona Hintum – Youth Crime
  • Lucy Andressen – Youth Crime
  • Miriana Smoljko – Youth Crime

Our Professional Support team provides study support for lawyers undertaking specialist accreditation.

If you are interested in participating in the study support program, please contact Eveline Pagnani, Administrative Services Officer, Professional Support team on (03) 9269 0619.

More information

Read more about accredited specialisation

Become an accredited specialist

Practitioner panels

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