I am excited and honoured to have been appointed as an Associate to Justice Ginnane in the Supreme Court of Victoria. This role presents an unparalleled opportunity to learn from a great legal mind firsthand, while further developing the knowledge and skills required to successfully transition into legal practice.
I came straight to ACU following high school. My initial plans for a gap year fell through, so I thought I would get straight into study. I compensated by spending three months travelling Europe over the 2016/17 summer in a gap season.
I found university to be both difficult and fun. Studying law and commerce certainly requires plenty of study and effort, however I found it quite rewarding. I developed a passion for law which made studying less burdensome, though certainly still challenging. I found the social aspects of university to be particularly enjoyable. There are many like-minded and interesting people to meet, and law at ACU in particular has a thriving Law Students’ Society, which constantly hosts fun events. The competitive side of university was also rewarding; particularly the Mooting Club which presented opportunities to compete around Australia against other universities. The club is constantly improving and growing, and each year achieves further success in inter-varsity competitions.
During Year 12 I was still uncertain about exactly what I wanted to do; I was interested in, though not set upon, a career in law or business. The prospect of a new and practical law degree, combined with a degree in commerce, proved alluring. As it happened, I developed a passion for law and now intend to pursue a career as a legal practitioner.
The academic staff at ACU were unbelievably helpful. We had a small cohort and passionate teachers, this meant I was able to develop personal relationships with many of the teachers. This was invaluable. They were always happy to help, and to go above and beyond what was expected of them in order to enhance the learning of students who engaged with the learning material. I always felt that I could have a chat with my teachers out of class about the content, and often did so to enhance my learning.
I had the pleasure of completing a few pro bono placements, however the most valuable was with Refugee Legal. I spent 6 months as a research volunteer, conducting targeted research into individual client's claims for protection. I enjoyed helping vulnerable people while learning a lot about immigration law and various countries and cultures. I was fortunate enough to be employed as an Administration Officer at the conclusion of this placement, which is a position I have held for nearly three years, and one that has infinitely developed my professional and practical workplace skills.
A position as a Judge’s Associate has always strongly appealed to me. Courtroom advocacy is the aspect of law I am most passionate about. This job will provide an unrivalled opportunity to experience, and contribute to, the inner-mechanisms of the State’s highest Court first hand. It will also allow me to work closely with such a great legal mind, while also exposing me to the State’s best advocates in action. As a passionate law graduate, I am most keen to start and to learn from the experience.
I expect that the job will be a fantastic learning experience, further developing the skills and confidence I need to pursue a career in law. I hope to learn about the intricacies of the areas of law His Honour hears (principally administrative law), and about the rules and procedures of the Supreme Court. I also hope to learn from the wealth of experience Justice Ginnane has developed during an extensive career at the bar and bench.
There are now more university options than ever before, especially in a field like law. I would recommend ACU for its small and intimate nature. The class sizes permit personalised learning, and students are encouraged to engage with the material in a class environment, rather than simply watch a lecture online. Not every law school allows students to be on a first name basis with their academic staff. Students who are willing to put the effort in should strongly consider this course, as it will develop skills applicable to a range of fields, not just law.
My ultimate career goal is to establish a practice at the Victorian Bar. I am passionate about advocacy, and would love for that to be my job. However, I would first like to practice as a solicitor, in order to develop a more intimate knowledge of law and legal practice. I am not too fixed on any specific areas of law, though I do have a passion for administrative, criminal, and immigration law.