The Legal Support Team Office can also be a tent or vehicle if the action is outdoor or isolated.
The job of the IC is one of the most challenging. It involves:
- Having a good overall sense of what's happening both in the streets and in the office
- Knowing how the office systems are set up, how they are working or not working, and changing them in order to make them more effective
- Determining what info has been sufficiently corroborated and should be put on the Street Updates wall chart
- Coordinating volunteers
- Handling difficult situations, possibly including but not limited to: irate callers, person shortages, reticent lawyers, needy arrestees, and confused, sleep-deprived, or slacking volunteers
Also, in large, complex actions:
- Communicating between the Legal Observer Team and the legal support team office
- Calling and dispatching lawyers with a legal team member (Away Teams)
- Taking calls from the Legal Team (if there is a designated line for them to call)
- Deciding what information needs to be conveyed to lawyers
- Prioritising lawyer visits (to where, to whom).
One of the hardest things to do efficiently is to get important information from the phones to the update charts. Whatever you as the IC decide, the most important thing is that you communicate with the volunteers about what they should be doing to help you facilitate the flow of information. In large actions, it is helpful to have at least two ICs, with at least one in the office at all times.
Other information systems you may want to think about:
- How and where to compile arrestee questions, requests and messages 1) for lawyers and 2) for others
- How to make sure important information gets communicated between lawyers and the legal team
- Where to keep Police Complaint Reports and other sensitive information
- How to make sure the AG legal support person information is being updated.
It is important to keep people alive and healthy. This often gets overlooked. The Office Support makes sure:
- People are eating and sleeping
- There is food in the office and meals prepared
- The office is a relatively sane, calm and orderly space ?? The office rules are followed.
In a mass action scenario, the legal office will receive a lot of media calls. Because whatever we say to the media can be used against us and against those arrested, the legal team must be very careful when talking with the media. Volunteers should refer all media calls to the flak or an available legal team member.
All members of the legal team should:
- Reach agreement about what information should be communicated when and by whom
- Go to a media training
- Feel comfortable with referring calls to the media team for the action or asking journalists to call back at a later time (especially when the office is busy).