General Manager, Advocacy, Cancer Council Queensland

James Farrell joined the Deakin University School of Law in October 2011. Before this, he was the manager/principal lawyer of the PILCH Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic, a specialist outreach legal service for people experiencing (or at risk of) homelessness. In this role, James supervised over 300 volunteer lawyers from large commercial law firms who visited 12 shelters and welfare agencies each week to provide clients with advice, advocacy and representation. James was also responsible for the HPLC's policy and law reform campaigning and community engagement.

James' research interests have been shaped by his experiences working with marginalised and disadvantaged clients, and his research focuses on poverty law, social justice and human rights.

James is currently the Director of Community Legal Centres Queensland. He has been the Treasurer of the National Association of Community Legal Centres and a member of the StreetSmart Australia grants committee. James was a centre fellow of the Centre for Rural Regional Law & Justice, a member of the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, QUT's Law Advisory Board and the UQ Pro Bono Centre's advisory board, and an editorial board member of the Alternative Law Journal. James has also served on the boards of community legal centres, an arts organisation and other community groups. In 2014, James was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community, particularly social welfare and legal access programs.


  • 2019–present
    General Manager, Advocacy, Cancer Council Queensland
  • 2012–2019
    Director, Community Legal Centres Queensland
  • 2011–2016
    Lecturer in Law, Deakin University
  • 2009–2011
    Manager/Principal Lawyer, PILCH Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic
  • 2007–2009
    Lawyer, Corrs Chambers Westgarth


  • 2012 
    Deakin University, Graduate Certificate of Higher Education
  • 2010 
    RMIT University, Graduate Diploma in Applied Human Rights
  • 2009 
    University of New England, Master of Laws
  • 2007 
    College of Law, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice
  • 2007 
    Deakin University, Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • 2006 
    Deakin University, Bachelor of Commerce

Research Areas

  • Law (1801)
  • Criminology (1602)


2014 Churchill Fellowship | 2014 Order of Australia Medal | 2012 Australian Leadership Award | 2011 LIV President's Award finalist | 2011 Lawyer's Weekly Awards - Young Gun (highly commended) | 2011 VCOSS Ben Bodna Award