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Careers guideBOOK 2012 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

careers guidebook 2012



“The College gave me the confidence to apply for jobs as a junior lawyer.” LEAHA SCHELL - COLLEGE OF LAW GRADUATE

"The College offered some of the most approachable and supportive teaching staff that I have come across in all my studies. The feedback was thorough and prompt and helped me to work on my problem areas. The program was flexible so that I could confidently and competently complete my studies." To make the right choice for your career call 1300 856 111 or visit 2

Melbourne University Law Students’ Society







Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

acknowledgements Editors

Lewis Cohen Tim Pirera Public Interest Careers Officers 2012

Creative Directors

Marco Angele Bronwyn Montgomery Marketing & Publications Directors 2012

Platinum Sponsors

Freehills Corrs Chambers Westgarth College of Law Baker & McKenzie Arnold Bloch Leibler

Premier Sponsors

Clayton Utz King & Wood Mallesons Herbert Geer

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Editors or the Melbourne University Law Students’ Society. Best efforts have been made to ensure all information in this publication is correct as at 27 April 2012 but is subject to change without notice. The information is merely advisory and should not be relied upon as professional advice. This publication is distributed free of charge on the understanding that the authors, editors and any persons related to this publication are not responsible for the results of their actions or omissions on the basis of any information provided in this publication.


Melbourne University Law Students’ Society


s 01



Beginning your career


Legal Careers


public sector Careers


nOn-LEGAL careers

Message from the Editors (9) Message from the President (10) Message from the Dean (11) Message from the Associate Dean (12) Melbourne Law School Careers Office (13) Melbourne Law School Internship Program (14)

Admission to Practice (16) About the Victorian Bar (18) Going to the Bar (20) Practical Legal Training at the College of Law (22) The College of Law speaks with a Practical Legal Training Graduate (21) Leo Cussen Practical Training Course (24)

Academia (30) Q&A with a Judge’s Associate (31) Barrister Profile and Q&A (32) Constructing Careers at King & Wood Mallesons (35) How Do You Sleep at Night? (36) Employee Relations (38) Workplace Relations (39) Working in the Environment and Planning practice group at Clayton Utz (41) Government Work at Corrs (42) AED Legal Centre (44) Natural Resources and Energy Law (45) Public Interest Law (46) Public Interest and Native Title (47) Pro Bono and Community Service at Baker & McKenzie (48) Pro Bono in Practice (50) Life in Regional Victoria (51) Go Bush, Young Lawyer (52) Sports Law in Practice (53) Victorian Legal Aid (54)

The Experience of a Government Lawyer (58) Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office (60) Office of Public Prosecutions (61)

New Perspectives (66) Human Resources (66) The Photographer (67) The Entrepreneur (67) The Policy Advisor (68) The Postgraduate Student (68) The Journalist (69) The Boston Consulting Group (70) Governmental Advisory (71) Why I Chose to Teach for Australia (72)

Firm directory Legal (74) Government and Public Sector (75) Non-Legal (76)

01. Introductions


Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

Editors’ Welcome


Lewis Cohen and Tim Pirera pUBLIC InTEREST CAREERS OFFICERS Plan your career! This phrase will come up continuously throughout university, and when considering your post-graduation employment options. But how can you plan where you are going if you don’t know where you want to go yet? The MULSS Careers Guidebook 2012 is intended to be a source of information, not a career plan. The world is huge, and as a result, the number and variety of employment options out there is endless. This Guidebook only scratches the surface. The information contained in this Guidebook is not exhaustive, but is rather intended to be a starting point as to the many different directions that law students may go. The various Chapters of the 2012 Guidebook outline the broad ways in which a law degree can be utilised. t

ćFNPTUPCWJPVTQBUIXBZJTBAMFHBMDBSFFSćJTJODMVEFTDPSQPSBUFMBXĕSNT KPJOJOHUIF#BS KPJOJOH the judiciary, a career in academia, various areas of legal specialisation and much more.


"DBSFFSJOUIFHPWFSONFOUPSQVCMJDTFDUPSJTBMTPBWFSZFYDJUJOHQBUIXBZ&YBNQMFTJODMVEFUIFNBOZ government bodies (some of which are listed in this Guidebook), or working in a legal office such as the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, which employs the state government as its client.


ćFĕOBMCSPBEBSFBJTVTJOHZPVSMBXEFHSFFUPQSPQFMZPVSDBSFFSJOOPOMFHBMKPCT"MBXEFHSFF gives you skills – in particular, it teaches you a way of thinking. This is an invaluable and transferrable skill that can be utilised for your benefit in almost any direction that your imagination will lead you. For example, teaching and consulting (as brief examples) utilise these skills for the benefit of providing advice and tailoring education based on the student. A way of thinking can be used in an endless amount of ways.

The final section of the Guidebook is a non-exhaustive list of firms and organisations within Melbourne and Australia that offer legal employment. The most important thing is to make your own career choice. Use your law degree for your benefit, so that you derive enjoyment and success from the career choices you make. This will depend on your own preferences for work and life, as well as your short and long-term goals. The MULSS Careers Guidebook 2012 is designed to point you in the right direction. Consider the options here as a basis for exploring the endless list of opportuniUJFTJOUIFASFBMXPSME Best of luck!

careers guidebook 2012


Message from the President Antony Freeman President of THE Melbourne University Law Students’ Society On behalf of the entire Melbourne University Law Students’ Society Committee, I would like to welDPNFZPVUPZPVS$BSFFST(VJEFCPPL A(VJEF GPS 2012. This year the Guide has a new home in semester 1. In years past, students would receive their guidebooks at the end of semester 2, and while this had the benefit of providing some fodder for holiday readings, there was limited practical benefit for students. Most summer work-experience vacancies are already filled by October, and therefore the date was changed to give this Guide to you when you really need it. So – when will you need this Guide? What information does it contain? ćFQISBTFTAQVCMJDJOUFSFTUQBUIXBZT PSABMUFSOBUJWF careers’ are often accompanied by scoffs and grunts at law school, as sceptical students distrust any career pathway that is not clearly sign-posted in neon flashing lights. This Guide is not intended as a holyUFYU PSBTBTVNNBSZPGBMMQPTTJCMFABMUFSOBUJWFTUP commercial legal work known to man or woman. It is intended as a starting point, as a brain-teaser, and as a sound source of practical initial information about a range of career paths for which a law degree is useful. A significant proportion of law students remain at commercial legal firms for many years, and many find work elsewhere. Many will do pro-bono work at top-tier legal firms, and many will be on large salaries at not-for-profit organisations. Hopefully, some will also take a completely different career trajectory altogether. The point is that you, as a student with a smorgasbord of careers options, should not feel 10

10 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

pigeon-holed into one particular route for the long haul. This Guide is a useful source for all law students, whether in the first months of your degree or the home stretch, and I encourage you to continue to refer to it over the coming months. Obviously, the realisation of this concept can be attributed to a few committed individuals. Tim Pirera and Lewis Cohen, our two LSS Public Interest CaSFFST0Ä?DFST A5FBN1*$0 IBWFXPSLFEUJSFMFTTMZ to garner and source the best possible material for this Guide. It is the result of many hours of planning, thought and legwork. I would like to sincerely thank them for their long hours and commitment to the project, and congratulate them on the outstanding result. Our Publications and Marketing dynamos, Bronwyn Montgomery and Marco AngelĂŠ, have USBOTGPSNFE UIF ASBX NBUFSJBM JOUP UIF (VJEF XF have today. Their skill, humour and dedication to every piece of work they do are simply invaluable to the LSS, and I hope that all readers gain the benefit of their expertise. Finally, thank you to our sponsors and to our contributors alike. Simply, without finance these projects could never be realised to their full potential, and students would never gain the full possible benefit. We are incredibly lucky for the continuing support from our loyal sponsors, and I hope both students and sponsors enjoy the finished product in front of them.

Message from the Dean Carolyn Evans Dean & Harrison Moore Professor of Law Some people come into Law School with a very clear vision of their career from the day that they graduate until the day that they retire. Others arrive in their first class with fairly vague aspirations or having given relatively little thought to their careers. I would encourage all of you to make good use of this publication, whether to assist you in understanding what you need to succeed in your chosen career or to help you think more broadly about the career options available. As this book demonstrates, there is a wide range of career options open to Melbourne law graduates and it is impossible to cover all of them in a single publication. What you find here is a useful collection of information about some of the common career paths for law graduates. Careers as a lawyer are diverse. They include working on multi-national deals in large law firms, undertaking a wide range of legal roles as a lawyer in a rural or remote community, drafting legislation as a public servant, representing vulnerable members of the community as a Community Legal Services Lawyer, arguing matters in court as a barrister, and working on international law in an international organisation or court. These careers will build on the legal knowledge and skills that you have developed here at Law School. There are also a range of careers where the skills that you have developed in law school are very valuable even though you are not directly working as a lawyer. Many of our graduates have gone on to successful careers in management consultancy, banking, accountancy, government, the NGO sector, and the arts. Of course, many graduates start out in one area and move over time to other careers.

It is important that you think carefully about what type of career best suits you and also about your PQUJPOT JG ZPV BSF VOBCMF UP PCUBJO ZPVS AESFBN job’ straight out of university. When I look at those law students who graduated with me, many have changed jobs over time and those who were very upset not to obtain their first choice straight out of law school have now found satisfying careers. One of the causes of anxiety and depression among law students is a belief that they will only be happy if they obtain one of a very narrow range of prestigious jobs. The reality is that it is far better to think deeply about the sort of person that you are and the values that you have and try to match those to a range of employment options that you would find satisfying. Work hard towards your preferred option, of course, but recognise that there is more than one path open to you. This guidebook is one valuable resource in helping you to think about what you want to do after Law School. Its editors and all those involved in helping to produce it are to be thanked and congratulated for providing such important assistance to their fellow students. I hope that you find the guidebook useful and encourage you to take advantage of the information in it as well as the other sources of careers guidance in the Law School, including the Careers Office and the many events run by both the Careers Office and the LSS.

careers guidebook 2012


message from the Associate Dean Elise Bant Associate dean (jd) and Associate Professor Welcome to the 2012 Careers Guidebook! This is a wonderful resource for JD and LLB students seeking to find out more about the wide variety of wonderful careers that can be pursued, or pursued more fruitfully, with their law degree. As the most cursory glance through the index reveals, the diversity of potential pathways are just staggering. It might rightly be wondered how on earth one is to know which to choose and when? Without my Associate Dean (JD) hat on, but rather as a law graduate who followed a meandering path to my current position, I suggest a few guiding tips that worked for me at least, and hopefully will resonate with some readers. 1.

Take time to think about what subjects and activities you have really enjoyed to date (both at MLS and elsewhere) and ask yourself why?


Work out what are the values that are really central to your happiness.


Find out as much as you can about the sorts of careers that might fit with, or support, the answers to the above. Sources include this Guidebook, getting individual careers advice from the Careers Office, your past/present mentor, MLS teachers and other students, just to name a few!


Be flexible and try to take a longterm view about your career goals and aspirations. The path ways to happiness (and I do believe that a satisfying career is an important

12 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society



ingredient in this!) are rarely linear or oneway. Yours (like mine) may involve lots of interesting twists and turns, side routes, doubling back and sudden jumps sideways and forwards. This is usually a good thing. For me, none of the experiences gained on the road were wasted (even if not all were entirely enjoyable!) and many stages in my career journey turned out to be very valuable, often in unexpected ways, in later contexts. In particular, I had to take VOFYQFDUFEEFUPVSTXIFONZAQMBO"EJEOU work out on more than one occasion, and the strange thing is that it always turned PVU MBUFSPO UIBUUIFAEFUPVSFYQFSJFODF provided a critical scaffold for reaching some later milestone. And the experiences constantly helped to mould my career aims and choices. I couldn’t be happier than where I am now – but it is a very long way from where I thought I would be, when I first started my studies in law (unfortunately, now a very long time ago). A related last point – a career is a journey, not a destination. Yours will be as individual and important (both for you and for those it touches) as you are yourself. Your career is not something to be rushed, or measured against others’ pathways, or demeaned by BSUJĕDJBMFYQFDUBUJPOTPSANFBTVSFNFOUT4P take your time, be kind to yourself as you start to find your feet – and make sure you take time to reflect upon and celebrate all your amazing achievements along the way!

Melbourne Law school careers office The Melbourne Law School Careers Office is the most well established law school careers service in Australia and is tailored specifically to the needs of law students. Working out what you want to do after law school can be a difficult process. A law degree opens up a huge array of opportunities both within and outside the law. However you still need to work out what is important to you, where you want to take your law degree and how you intend on getting there. The Careers Office can help you answer some of these questions. All MLS students are encouraged to visit the Careers Office with any career-related issues. Our staff are either legally qualified, studying law or have substantial experience working in the legal environment.

Get a head start on your career The Careers Office provides students with a range of services, including: Individual career consultations - We help you draft effective CVs and cover letters, and offer mock interviews. Students can make an appointment to see a consultant - you can have as many consultations as you like during your studies! Careers events – Trying to work out where you want to take your law degree and how to achieve your career goals? Our guest speakers enlighten students about their own careers and the myriad of options available to law graduates - both practising and non-practising - in the private, public and community sectors, businesses and overseas. We also run sessions with potential employers to teach you how to prepare a first class job application, reach your potential during an interview, network effectively, provide market updates and use different job seeking strategies. Employer visits - Students have the opportunity to meet with firms’ representatives and discuss potential career and recruitment opportunities. A number of these firms are located overseas and interview students, right here at the Law School.

Career fairs – The annual Public Interest Law Fair and Hong Kong Law Fair are valuable opportunities for you to meet directly with organisations and firms to discuss a variety of volunteer, graduate, trainee and internship positions directly related to your area of interest. Mentor program - Launched in 2009, this program gives first year JD students the opportunity to develop a relationship with a successful member of the profession and, by gaining an insight into their working life, help develop your own career goals. Our mentors’ backgrounds and interests are diverse in line with the varied options available to law graduates. Internship program – Also launched in 2009, this program enhances Melbourne Law School students’ beyond the classroom and prepares you for work. A growing number of partnerships have been arranged across the private, public and community sectors across many specialisations. Guest Lecture Series - Melbourne Law School is committed to giving students access to the best and brightest legal minds, ensuring you are in touch with cutting edge legal issues. Our high profile visitors cover a huge range of current law and legal practice issues. Speakers in 2012 include former High Court judge, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, Director of Private Sector Development at Oxfam America, Mr Chris Jochnick, and barrister, Ms Kris Walker. Law School careers website - This includes a jobs noticeboard which advertises seasonal clerkships, traineeships, internships, part-time and voluntary opportunities. Three Faculty advisers – These are members of academic staff specifically chosen by the Dean to advise you on international careers, academic careers and working as a judge’s associate. Resource area - The Careers Office also has a recareers guidebook 2012


source area with information about practical legal training courses, firms and other career options as well as publications such as Young Lawyers Journal, Lawyer 2B, Lawyers Weekly and the Australian Financial Review. Feel free to come in and browse!

Get your dream job There are many things you can do while at law school which will help you get the job you want, including: t 3FTFBSDIJOHBOEMFBSOJOHBCPVUUIFMFHBM profession t #FTFMGBXBSFćJOLBCPVUXIBUJT  important to you in a career t 3FTFBSDIUIFWBSJFUZPGDBSFFSTXJUIJOBOE outside the legal profession t #FBXBSFPGBOZTLJMMTZPVOFFEUPEFWFMPQ to be a great candidate t /FUXPSLXJUIZPVSGFMMPXQFFSTBOEQFPQMF in the profession t %FWFMPQBĕSTUDMBTT$7BOEDPWFSMFUUFS t 1SFQBSFGPSJOUFSWJFXT t (BJOBTNVDIMFHBMBOEQSPGFTTJPOBMXPSL experience as you can t 6OEFSTUBOEUIFTFBTPOBMDMFSLTIJQBOE Supervised Workplace Training application process

Make an appointment Bookings for individual consultations may be made via Careers Online: www.careersonline.unimelb. . Simply logon to Careers Online using your regular University of Melbourne username and password.

Get in touch with us The Careers Office is located on the Mezzanine Level Contact details are: Phone: 03 8344 8094 Email: Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm

Melbourne Law School Internship Program In 2009, Melbourne Law School created an internship program to provide students with the opportunity to obtain practical legal experience in a range of public interest and commercial legal environments. As part of this program, the Careers Office currently has arrangements with over 30 organisations. These organisations include community legal centres, environmental, health, government and consumer organisations mostly located in Melbourne. All public interest internships are available for credit as part of the Legal Internship elective subject and are suitable for 2nd and 3rd year JD students. The internships are a fantastic opportunity to gain some practical legal experience. For many past interns the experience has been transformative. It has FYQPTFEUIFNUPUIFASFBMXPSMEPGMBXIFMQFEUIFN make decisions about what they want to do after law 14 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

TDIPPMBMMPXFEUIFNUPNBLFDPOUBDUTXJUIJOUIF profession and develop a whole range of practical legal skills that cannot be obtained in a classroom. Melbourne Law School internships are advertised by the Careers Office in summer and winter via the Law Careers Office Workgroup on Careers Online. To provide information on other legal internship opportunities, the Careers Office has created a database of organisations that offer publicly available internships. This list is particularly suitable if you are in the first year of your degree and will not be taking an internship for subject credit. The Publicly Available and MLS Internship Database can be found in the Resources section of the Law Careers Office Workgroup on Careers Online.

02. Beginning your Career 15

Admission to Legal Practice Anna Alexander

LIV Young Lawyers Manager The Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2008 (the rules) came into effect on 1 July 2008. These rules replace articles of clerkship with supervised workplace training (SWT) and make changes to the process of admission to practice. Under the new rules, anyone who has completed an approved training course and obtained a Bachelor of Law, or the equivalent qualification as noted in Part 2 of the Rules, and wishes to be admitted to practice needs to complete either: t 4VQFSWJTFE8PSLQMBDF5SBJOJOH 485 PS t1SBDUJDBM-FHBM5SBJOJOH 1-5 

What is Supervised Workplace Training? Supervised Workplace Training (SWT) is a twelve NPOUIAUSBJOFFTIJQXJUIBMFHBMÄ•SNPSPÄ?DF XPSLing under the supervision of a qualified legal practitioner (see Rule 3.05). Throughout the traineeship year, a law graduate must complete training in the “Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyersâ€? developed by the Law Admissions Consultative Committee and the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council. Graduates completing their traineeship with a firm BSFSFGFSSFEUPBTAMBXHSBEVBUFTPSAUSBJOFFT SWT snapshot: t NPOUITPOUIFKPCUSBJOJOH t 1SFEPNJOBOUMZQSBDUJDBMUSBJOJOHBTBO  FNQMPZFFPGBÄ•SN t &NQMPZNFOUJTQBJE t .BOEBUPSZSFRVJSFNFOUUPDPNQMFUFUFO  DPSFDPNQFUFODJFTBOE t $PNQVMTPSZFYUFSOBMUSBJOJOHJTSFRVJSFE 16 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

Requirements upon commencing a traineeship Under Rule 3.13 of the rules, the trainee must produce the following documents to the Board of Examiners within one month of commencing a traineeship: (a)





The executed training plan in the form set PVUJO4DIFEVMF An affidavit verifying the training plan in UIFGPSNTFUPVUJO4DIFEVMFPGUIFSVMFT An academic transcript showing that the trainee has obtained the academic RVBMJĕDBUJPOSFRVJSFEVOEFSSVMF An affidavit verifying the supervisor’s FMJHJCJMJUZUPCFBTVQFSWJTPSBOE Any other information required under the rules or that the board may generally require trainees to provide.

Except for the academic transcript, which must be sent directly from the trainee’s university to the Board, the remaining documents must be lodged in person at the office of the board by each applicant. Applicants from regional Victoria are encouraged to call the board and request approval to submit their documents by post. The Board of Examiners is available to answer questions regarding SWT, PLT and admission to practice. Trainees are encouraged to contact the Board for further information http://www.lawadmissions.

Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers During their 12-month traineeship, law graduates

must acquire appropriate understanding and competence in each of the compulsory “skills�, “practice areas� and “values�. Trainees are also expected to complete training in two optional practice areas (one from each cluster).

cant has achieved the requisite competence in each element of the skills, practice areas and values. The competency standard to be obtained is detailed in Schedule 3 of the rules and is broken down into a series of elements with relevant performance criteria.

Compulsory skills, practice areas and values:

Satisfactory completion of a performance criteria in the course of the trainee’s file work is sufficient to demonstrate appropriate competence in and knowledge of that criteria, thereby satisfying Rule 3.09.

Skills: t t t t


Practice Areas: t $JWJM-JUJHBUJPO1SBDUJDF t $PNNFSDJBM$PSQPSBUF1SBDUJDF t 1SPQFSUZ-BX1SBDUJDF Values: t &UIJDTBOE1SPGFTTJPOBM3FTQPOTJCJMJUZ Optional practice areas: Cluster One: t "ENJOJTUSBUJWF-BX1SBDUJDF t $SJNJOBM-BX1SBDUJDF t 'BNJMZ-BX1SBDUJDF Cluster Two: t $POTVNFS-BX1SBDUJDF t &NQMPZNFOU*OEVTUSJBM3FMBUJPOT1SBDUJDF t 1MBOOJOH&OWJSPONFOUBM-BX1SBDUJDF t 8JMMTBOE&TUBUFT1SBDUJDF The majority of the training required can be completed either in-house with their workplace (on the job), externally with a practical legal training (PLT) provider, or through a combination of both. The rules provide that ethics and professional responsibility must be completed through a course of instruction and program of assessment conducted by a PLT provider. In addition, each element of lawyers’ skills and the risk management element of work management and business skills must be completed through a PLT provider, unless the employer has sought prior approval of the board to conduct this training internally (see Rule 3.09(1)(d)(iv) and Schedule 3). At the point of admission, each applicant for admission is required to provide evidence to the Board of Examiners, as specified in the rules, that the appli-

Where a trainee has completed training through an external training provider, a document certifying the trainee’s satisfactory completion of the training module should be retained.

What is Practical Legal Training? Practical Legal Training (PLT) is the most commonly chosen pathway to admission to practise as a lawyer in Australia. PLT is designed to ensure graduates are fully-prepared to enter the legal profession with the practical training to complement their technical skills. PLT in a Snapshot t .VTUCFDPNQMFUFEXJUIBOBQQSPWFE1-5  QSPWJEFS t $BOCFDPNQMFUFEJOVOEFSTJYNPOUIT t $POTJTUTNBJOMZPGDPVSTFXPSL FJUIFS online or on-site at the education facility), with a combination of practical work experence completed in a legal  FOWJSPONFOUBOE t JTQBJEGPSCZUIFTUVEFOUPSBÄ•SN  t 'FFIFMQJTBWBJMBCMF The following organisations are currently approved PLT providers: 1. The College of Law Victoria 2. The Leo Cussen Institute 3. Australian National University Training provided by the approved PLT providers complies with the relevant competency standards for entry level lawyers as set out in the rules. 4UVEFOUTNBZOFHPUJBUFXJUIBÄ•SNUPCFTQPOTPSFE to complete a PLT course while employed at the firm rather than complete a traineeship and are therefore not required to prepare a training plan. careers guidebook 2012


Admission Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates are encouraged to read the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2008 carefully and familiarise themselves with the admission requirements and the documents required to be submitted to the Board.

The LIV website has an extensive list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in relation to the new admission rules. For further information regarding SWT or PLT, FAQs, a copy of the new rules and a sample training plan, go to the LIV website at:

In addition, all applicants seeking admission to legal practice are now required to provide the following to the Board of Examiners: t t

BQPMJDFSFDPSEDIFDLBOE BOBDBEFNJDDPOEVDUSFQPSUGSPNUIFJS university and PLT provider, if a PLT course/unit has been completed.

For information and resources including articles regarding careers in law, visit the LIV Young Lawyers website

About the Victorian Bar Victorian bar student engagement committee Advocate, advisor, businessperson, negotiator, mediator… these are just some of the roles which a barrister plays in their daily life. As a barrister you can be guaranteed of at least one thing – that no two days will ever be the same. You may spend the day in court – perhaps a trial, an appeal, or an application to the court concerning some aspect of a case. Or, you might find yourself working in chambers – conferring with a client, preparing an advice, doing research, or preparing cross-examination or submissions. You may even find yourself visiting a client in custody, or conducting a view of an area or a product integral to the case you are about to argue. Barristers are exposed to a wide variety of work and enjoy the flexibility that comes from working as a sole practitioner. For most barristers, a career at the Bar is very rewarding and satisfying. However, like any operator of a small business, it is not without 18 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

its challenges, especially when starting out. In the early years, most barristers experience, for the first time, the challenges of being a sole practitioner, the uneven flow of work and income and the need for self-reliance when cases are run independently of others’ support. This can be a jarring change from the team-based practice of an employed solicitor. However at the same time, there is a very real collegiate atmosphere at the Bar – a sharing of experience, concerns, and knowledge.

What is a barrister? A barrister is an independent specialist advocate and advisor. There are significant exceptions but, as a general rule, public access to the specialist services of a barrister is through a solicitor. Some people think of this as being analogous with the practice

of medicine, where the general practitioner (the solicitor) refers the patient (the client), in appropriate cases, to a specialist (the barrister).

cludes making full disclosures and satisfying the fit and proper person test under practitioner legislation.

Generally speaking, a barrister is self-employed, works in chambers (a floor of a building or a whole of building where barristers have their offices), has specialist skills in advocacy, is a specialist in a particular area of law, undertakes both appearance and advice work and is bound by professional conduct rules specific to being a barrister.

The course itself is run twice per year – in March and September and numbers in each course are capped at 48 readers. It runs full time for 8 weeks and provides intensive training in:  t PSBMBEWPDBDZJODMVEJOHJOUFSBDUJWF workshops and mock trials in real   DPVSUSPPNT  t XSJUUFOBEWPDBDZJODMVEJOHESBęJOH exercises for pleadings, affidavits   BOETVCNJTTJPOT  t FČFDUJWFDPNNVOJDBUJPOJODMVEJOH workshops with trained actors and   FOHBHJOHBEWPDBUFT  t GPSFOTJDEFDJTJPONBLJOH  t FUIJDTBOEDPOEVDUBOE  t QSBDUJDFEFWFMPQNFOU

A barrister’s functions will differ depending upon the area of law that he or she practices in. Some areas of practice include: criminal law, commercial law, administrative law, common law and family law. Functions of a barrister may include advocating, negotiating and mediating, advising, both orally and in writing, conferring, drafting court documents, practice management (e.g. conducting training for barristers, presenting seminars, writing academic pieces for journals, and preparing headnotes for law reports), pro bono work and Bar committee work.

How to become a barrister " OFX CBSSJTUFS JT LOPXO BT B ASFBEFS BOE VOEFSUBLFTBASFBEJOHQFSJPEPGBQQSPYJNBUFMZNPOUIT That 9 month period involves the completion of a 2 month readers’ course, and then a 7 month postcourse period where the reader shares chambers with their mentor (a barrister of 10 years or more experience who has agreed to mentor the reader), takes on briefs of their own and undergoes some refresher advocacy training at approximately 7 months. In order to become a reader you must be admitted as an Australian Lawyer and have passed the readers’ exam. This is a three-hour closed-book exam which covers four principle areas: ethics, evidence, criminal procedure and civil procedure. It contains a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and long answer questions. There is a non-refundable fee of $350 which must be paid before a candidate can sit the exam. A candidate can take the exam more than once but must pay the fee on each occasion.

The course costs $4300 with payment due one week after a candidate has been offered a place in the course. Upon successful completion of the readers’ course, the reader signs the Bar Roll and is formally admitted to practice as a barrister. They are then able to take briefs as counsel in their own right, although they will continue to share chambers with, and be under the guidance of, their mentor until the conclusion of the 9 month reading period. For further information about the role of a barrister, becoming a barrister or the readers’ course, please see the Victorian Bar website ( or contact the Victorian Bar Inc, 205 William St, .FMCPVSOF  QIPOF    "O JOGPSNBtion booklet regarding the work of Barristers can be found at

Candidates who achieve 85% or above on the exam receive an offer to apply for the next readers’ course. The offer cannot be deferred. After receiving an offer a candidate must make application to the Bar Council for entry to the readers’ course. This incareers guidebook 2012


GOInG TO THE BAR THREE BARRISTERS AT DIFFEREnT STAGES OF THEIR CAREERS GIVE THEIR VIEWS On GOInG TO THE BAR Are you secretly a budding barrister wondering about the Bar Readers’ Course (BRC)? Do you know how the process of going to the Bar has changed, if and when you should go and what to expect when you are there? You’re not alone. But help is at hand. The Young Lawyers Journal A:-+  TPVHIU BEWJDF GSPN UISFF CBSSJTUFST XJUI varying degrees of experience. The barristers at a glance are: JONATHAN WILKINSON started the BRC in March, having come from an associateship at the Supreme Court. Before that he spent three years at Norton Rose as a solicitor. REBECCA BREZZI has been at the Bar for nearly two years. She started her career as a project manager, then completed her JD and was an associate to Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren before joining Allens Arthur Robinson and then overcoming her nerves when a spot became available on the BRC earlier than planned. MARCUS CLARKE has been a barrister for 25 years and is a lecturer for the BRC. Since 2007 he has been a director of the Carlton Football Club and has represented a number of players at the AFL Tribunal. Marcus worked as a solicitor for three years before going to the Bar.

20 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

Before starting the BRC JW: Get back to the books. Reading George Hampel and David Ross on advocacy and refreshing your knowledge of the law of evidence is good preparation. RB: Tutoring and teaching experiences mean you revise without realising. I tutored and developed course materials for a tax and business law course taught to non-lawyers. Think of going to the Bar like starting a small business: you need to do your research and gain as much experience as you can. Attend seminars, try to get an associateship and sit in court. MC: Be patient. Reputation is important and people may recall your first mistake and never forget it. Bad news travels four times faster than good news, so look to minimise that risk and build up enough experience before you go to the Bar.

The course JW: Everyone makes mistakes but this is something you can minimise with thorough preparation. Stand up, have a go and do the best you can in the time you have available. Everyone is very supportive. There is a bit of healthy competition but in general there is a collegiate atmosphere. I made a good circle of friends I hope I can call on for advice in the future.

When to go

What to expect

RB: No one goes to the Bar thinking it is the perfect time. It can feel like a big jump and is always terrifying. For me it was the right time – you learn so much on the job and there is only so much you can learn from other sources. It helps if you have been exposed to a broad range of areas at both a low and a high level. Experience in a large firm will prepare you for working as a junior on a large corporations matter, however someone in a smaller firm who has had carriage of their own files can find they are better prepared for appearance work. Other life decisions (such as buying a home or starting a family) play a part when deciding to go to the Bar. And cash flow in the first year can be difficult. Make sure you have savings or other financial security to see you through the tight times.

RB: The collegiate atmosphere is superb – you can call anyone when you don’t know the answer. I have only ever experienced openness and generosity when asking for help. Ultimately, though, the responsibility for the brief lies with you. You initially might feel like everyone knows the answer and you don’t but it’s OK not to know every answer. You just need to know how to find a way through.

MC: The quality of your experience is more important than how long you wait before going to the Bar. Two to three years experience as a solicitor is sufficient if you have been exposed to an array of areas. See barristers both in court and in conferences and mediations. As a solicitor I was with barristers every second day so got a wide range of experience in a short period of time.

MC: The solicitors who oppose you are often the solicitors who brief you. If you oppose someone and deal with them professionally, they end up being the ones who brief you more than the mates who promised to give you a brief when you first started. Balance your life. Pursue interests outside of work. Being fit allows you to stay young and healthy in what is essentially a sedentary job. Fitness also makes you a more efficient and productive worker as it allows you to better deal with longer hours and the stress of large cases. This article first appeared in the Winter/Spring 2011 edition of the Young Lawyers Journal (YLJ) published by the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) and reproduced with the permission of the LIV.

Changes to the BRC The Victorian Bar has made changes to its admission requirements for the BRC. Once being admitted to practice, a solicitor would traditionally sign the Bar’s “waiting list” and wait, sometimes as long as three years, to be eligible for the BRC. As of 2011, the waiting list has been replaced by an entrance exam. The aim of the exam is to ensure that those admitted to the course have basic levels of competence and can demonstrate aptitude for the skills required of a barrister. A pass mark of 75 per cent will be required. The changes have reduced the length of the course, removing the need for the BRC to include a general revision of civil and criminal procedure, ethics and the rules of evidence. Exam features include: t $MPTFECPPL t ćSFFIPVSTJOEVSBUJPOBOE t "OVOEFSTUBOEJOHPGQSPDFEVSF DJWJMBOEDSJNJOBM  evidence and legal ethics.

careers guidebook 2012


Practical Legal Training at The College of Law The College of Law is the school of professional practice for lawyers in Australia and New Zealand. We provide career-long education and training services to the legal profession, differentiated by a focus on practical law. For over 35 years, the College’s Practical Legal Training Program has assisted graduates to make the transition from law student to practising lawyer, with real-world examples, experienced local practitioners and flexible study modes including part-time and full-time options. We specialise in education and training in legal practice and ensure our students have continuous interaction with their lecturers.

Course Delivery Methods The Practical Legal Training Program offers multiple start dates throughout the year and onsite skills sessions in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and London. Choose from two Coursework Component options: 1. Study online full-time with three separate one week onsite sessions (30-35 hours per week over 15 weeks): or 2. Study online part-time with three separate one week onsite sessions (15-17 hours per week over 30 weeks).

Large law firms use The College of Law Most of Australia’s top law firms use the College to train their graduates. They know their graduates will receive the same consistent training no matter which state they are located. They understand what best practice is in Practical Legal Training.

Work Experience Options We have two work experience options at the College which you can choose to suit your situation. Option 1: 75 days of work experience. Option 2: 25 days of work experience plus the Clinical Experience Module.

Multiple Start Dates Only the College can provide you with a large choice of start dates for your Practical Legal Training program, not just twice a year. We know you have other interests such as travelling or perhaps you just want a break between University and your PLT, so we provide multiple start dates in each state through the year. The College does not have waiting lists for our PLT programs.

How to enrol Visit or contact Student Services on 1300 856 111 or 22 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

The College of Law speaks with a Practical Legal Training Graduate Moshe Ross graduated in 2009 from the University of Melbourne with BE (Chem)(Hons)/LLB (Hons). He then went on to complete his Practical Legal Training in 2010 with the College of Law in the parttime, online program. Moshe is now working fulltime in a law firm. Was your time at The College of Law what you thought it would be? I really enjoyed my time at the College. The tutorials were interesting and the work load was manageable and much more practical (and enjoyable) than uni. *USFBMMZUBVHIUNFIPXUPACFBMBXZFS How did you find the lecturers at the College? Being an online course, questions had to be either phoned in, or emailed. Whichever mode one chose, the students all agreed that the lecturers were extremely nice and helpful. They took the time to make sure that everyone’s questions were answered and everyone knew that the lecturers could be approached at literally any time. Were the onsite weeks at the College campus useful? The onsite weeks at the College were great fun. They consisted mostly of group exercises and role playing. Not only did it encourage team work and group collaboration, but it was always beneficial to see how different people approached the same problem. The onsite weeks definitely build confidence and even the most shy of people at the beginning of the course loved getting up and role playing in front of the whole group by the end! What did you find most valuable about your Practical Legal Training studies at the College? I thought that the role playing exercises were most valuable at the College. Because I did not participate

in many mooting competitions at uni, the College XBT NZ ĕSTU FYQPTVSF UP AQSBDUJDBM MBXZFSJOH ćF lecturers were really good and picked up the relevant weak points in people’s presentations. The lecturers then showed everyone how to improve their presentation and legal approach. These kinds of skills are truly priceless in a job. What skills have you been able to put into practice in the real world that you learnt at the College? One of the skills that I learnt at the College which I have put into practice countless times in my job is drafting. The drafting skills I learned during the course, coupled with the various papers in the reading books that are provided by the college, are extremely useful when one finds themselves in legal practice. Even details such as correctly describing a party in a legal document can be tricky and can make all the difference between a good and bad piece of work. When deciding who to do your PLT with, what made you choose the College of Law? While I was in uni, the overwhelming majority of my friends who had already finished and were already working had either already finished, or were in the middle of, the College of Law PLT course. They all recommended that I also do the College of Law course and I have not looked back since. I also knew that a lot of top and mid-tier firms choose the College of Law course for their graduates. What would you say to current final year students who are deciding where to do their PLT? GO THE COLLEGE! Make the right choice for your career and call 1300 856 111 or visit careers guidebook 2012


Leo Cussen Practical Training Course Leo Cussen Centre for Law has been training law graduates and practising lawyers since 1972 and is recognised by the legal profession as providing comprehensive and quality practical legal training for prospective entry level lawyers. We offer two options to law graduates wishing to be admitted to the legal profession as an Australian Lawyer. (a)


The Practical Training Course (PTC) POTJUFPSPOMJOF PS The Traineeship Program for graduates employed as trainees in a firm/legal practice (paid for by the employer)

Graduates wishing to do the PTC may be sponsored by an employer. Successful completion of the PTC entitles you to apply for admission to the legal profession as an Australian Lawyer which, in turn, entitles you to practise as an Australian Legal Practitioner in any Australian jurisdiction.

Practical Training Course Onsite or Online Your Choice Online delivery offers flexibility to those who have work or family commitments and who enjoy the discipline of distance education. The Onsite course suits those looking for a collaborative training experience with face to face teaching and learning. It also suits those on overseas student visas. Online students attend for intensive teaching blocks and contact days during the course. In the Onsite course you attend each business day from 9am to 5pm. In the Online course you will need to commit at least 25 hours a week to your PTC work. We also 24 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

offer a part time Online PTC. Features of the Practical Training Course (Onsite and Online) t t t t  t t t t t t


The Learning Experience The Practical Training Course (PTC) is founded on UIFQSJODJQMFPGAMFBSOJOHCZEPJOHBOEJTEFTJHOFE to lead you to reach the required Competencies in an active and practical training environment.

Current Matter Program 4FUVQZPVSPXOAMBXÄ•SNBOESVOVQUPTJNVMBUed files covering a wide range of practice areas and presenting a range of legal and practical problems reflecting those you encounter in real-world legal practice. We operate an in-house registry and banking facility to assist the simulation of real practice.

Course Reference Materials A detailed set of reference materials provided for each practice topic is a resource during the Course and a handy reference in your first year of legal practice.

Mentors You work in a small group with the guidance of one of our staff. All our training staff are experienced lawyers. Their job is to help you develop your practical legal skills, professional values and confidence to work as an entry level lawyer.

Collegiality You form friendships during the course and begin to build the personal and professional networks that support you during your entire career. PTC trainees organise a variety of social activities during the course to make sure the fun doesn’t disappear in the midst of all the hard work.

Course Details and Application t t t t


Forms are available in September at: FEE-HELP is available for eligible applicants.

Contact us For further information please contact the Administrator, Practical Training Course: Phone: 03 9602 3111 Email:

careers guidebook 2012


BORN GL BAL Firm Details Baker & McKenzie was conceived and built as a global law firm, so thinking and working globally is embedded in our culture. Baker & McKenzie was formed in 1949 when an entrepreneurial Chicago attorney, Russell Baker, met the litigator, John McKenzie. McKenzie shared Baker’s vision of creating the world’s first multicultural, global law firm. The Firm’s second office was opened in Caracas in 1955. Our Australian story began in Sydney in 1964 and the Melbourne office was opened in 1982. Six decades later, Baker & McKenzie now has 70 offices in 42 countries. Our most recent offices to be opened were Doha in 2011 and Luxembourg in 2010. With around 90 partners and over 200 lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne, Baker & McKenzie Australia can offer you access to complex, market-leading matters working with some of the world’s best legal minds – people who know the law and who understand business. We have an unrivalled ability to provide training and secondment opportunities across our global network. Locally, we have an inclusive culture of learning, coaching and opportunity where you will work in small teams on matters that often cross borders. We value people who think ahead and get noticed.

Ready to explore our world? Natalie Pinto, Talent Management Consultant Melbourne Tel: +61 3 9617 4349

Posy McGrane, Talent Management Consultant Graduates Sydney Tel: +61 2 8922 5482 Baker & McKenzie, an Australian Partnership, is a member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a “partner” means a person who is a partner, or equivalent, in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an “office” means an office of any such law firm.


Clerkship Programs

Right from the start, our clerks get involved in real work. You will be exposed to our Australian and international clients through client meetings, shadowing, research and other everyday activities within your assigned practice group. Our clerks work closely with other lawyers, are guided by a Supervising Partner and enjoy the extra support of an experienced Associate ‘Buddy’. You will develop practical and legal skills through our national learning program and by attending workshops specifically designed for clerks, as well as firm-wide sessions. Clerks who accept a graduate role with the Firm are eligible to apply for an International Clerkship, with the opportunity to work for up to four weeks in one of our overseas offices in the year following their clerkship. In Melbourne, the Seasonal Clerkship programs run for four weeks in both July and December. In Sydney, the Summer Clerkship Program runs from late November to February each year with clerks completing two rotations over the 11 week period.

Graduate Programs

Our Sydney office recruits graduates directly from the Summer Clerkship pool and then on an ad hoc basis as required. Our Melbourne office participates in the priority offer system where, to be eligible for a priority offer, candidates must have completed a Seasonal Clerkship or 30 days paralegal work with the Firm during the past two years. Graduates complete three rotations over 18 months before they join a particular practice group as an Associate. You will be assigned a Supervising Partner and an Associate “Buddy” in each rotation to oversee your on-the-job and formal learning. We cover the costs of your admission and practising certificate. In addition, the Firm offers Associates the opportunity for a three month secondment to one of our Asia Pacific offices during their first two years of practice. This is a unique opportunity to experience the culture and legal work of another office, and develop contacts within the Baker & McKenzie network.

What do we look for in our clerks and graduates?

Our Graduate and Clerkship programs are designed for people who enjoy a challenge and want new opportunities; who have sound academics and are practical in their approach; who like taking responsibility and getting things done; who express themselves confidently while staying open to new ideas; and who seek a friendly and inclusive culture that encourages making a difference to our local and global communities.

Application dates

Applications for clerkships should be submitted online at and should include a cover letter, a CV outlining work experience, extra curricular activities and interests as well as academic results. Applications for clerkships open on 13 June 2012 in Sydney and on 16 July 2012 in Melbourne.

At Baker & McKenzie we are different in the way we think, work and behave. Like no other law firm, we were born global. Right from the beginning we’ve been offering a genuinely global perspective and operating without boundaries around the world. Our established global reach offers you an extraordinary career in the global economy, exchanging rich local insights and knowledge with the best legal minds from all over the world every day. And our unrivalled regional and local development programs will make you a truly global lawyer. Fast. We’re an entrepreneurial firm where new ideas and innovation are encouraged at all levels. A place where small teams and a personal approach to your career means you can go as far and fast as your talents and drive will take you.

Seeking a solution to your clerkship? At Arnold Bloch Leibler, we think outside the square. Not just in the way we develop solutions for our clients, but also in our approach to clerkships. We also understand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to attracting and retaining the best. So, we look for those who are seeking something out of the ordinary. Plus, we have no preconceptions about how talent is packaged. For some, a clerkship can be a hit or miss affair, involving either working your own files or working the photocopier. But at Arnold Bloch Leibler, we recognise that seasonal clerks and graduate trainees have the right to expect real work, real responsibility and the opportunity to make a real contribution. This is exactly what we deliver. Right from day one. For more information, visit the careers section on our website Level 21 333 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia T: 61 3 9229 9999 Level 24 Chifley Tower 2 Chifley Square Sydney NSW 2000 Australia T: 61 2 9226 7100

03. legal Careers


Academia Margaret Young Associate Professor university of melbourne A%BSFUPIPQFćFTFBSFUIFXPSETJOTDSJCFEJONZ copy of The Health of Nations by the author and Cambridge emeritus professor, Philip Allott. The year was 2002, and, as a postgraduate law student, I was on the cusp of finding a career in which these words could be lived on a daily basis. Sure enough, ten years on and now ensconced within the professoriate of Melbourne Law School, I feel privileged to be able to think and write and teach about international law and its transformative potential. The many advantages of academia include the intellectual freedom, diversity of experiences and autonomy of addressing global problems – such as, in my case, fisheries depletion or climate change. In my previous role as a solicitor in a national law firm, I also enjoyed the challenge of solving problems, but the problems were framed by the client rather than me. In academia, I am responsible for framing both the problems and the solutions (or even critiquing the idea of problem-solving), which is a far more demanding and ultimately fulfilling exercise. An academic position usually involves a mix of: t


5FBDIJOH BCPVUPGPVSUJNF ćJTJT not just face-to-face lectures but also includes supervising higher degree students, preparing course syllabi, drafting assessment tasks, developing teaching SFTPVSDFTBOE PGDPVSTF NBSLJOH 3FTFBSDI BOPUIFS ćJTJODMVEFT researching and writing on areas of our expertise – in my case, international law – as well as engaging in the work of colleagues and others in our field. Here, intellectual curiosity, creativity and commitment can lead to the building of a global conversation carried out in person – through presentation at local and international conferences – as well as in

30 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society


print – through books and journals and JODSFBTJOHMZOFXNFEJBBOE "ENJOJTUSBUJPO BCPVU ćJTJODMVEFT helping run the Law School through involvement on committees, coordinating external programs and engaging in other ALOPXMFEHFUSBOTGFSBDUJWJUJFTMJLF community events, public lectures, consulting for organisations, policy submissions, media appearances and so on.

As will be evident, these tasks put in practice many of the skills developed in a law degree. The ability to read cases and other material, a skill all too readily dismissed, is extremely important for an academic. Learning to write clearly is also extremely important, especially when your goals encompass writing 400 page books! The oral skills developed through class participation, mooting and other presentations are also necessary for the job. With good time management skills, an academic job can allow for a far healthier work/life balance than other legal careers. Being able to combine critical and analytical skills with imagination and innovation are further skills required for academia. So how does one become an academic? Whilst the career progression is notoriously competitive and seemingly impossible for anyone but the top H1 performers, it is helpful to consider that there are many different routes. These increasingly include getting a good doctorate. Apart from that, there are many small and sometimes indirect steps, as is evident from my own biography: an initial interest in public interest type careers, developed during my ZFBSBTB+VEHFT"TTPDJBUFBęFSBGFXZFBSTPGMFHBM practice, a scholarship to attend Cambridge for the --.BOJOUFSOTIJQBUUIF6OJUFE/BUJPOTBGVSUIFS TDIPMBSTIJQUPVOEFSUBLFB1I%BU$BNCSJEHFBQPTJUJPO BU UIF 8PSME 5SBEF 0SHBOJTBUJPO B SFTFBSDI GFMMPXTIJQBUB$BNCSJEHFDPMMFHFBOEBMMUIFXIJMF  reading, writing and thinking – with academics, my

reading, writing and thinking – with academics, my peers, and others – about my chosen field. Whilst academia seemed unattainable and other-worldly when I started out in the law, I now relish that Al-

lott’s words have daily professional relevance: Dare to hope!

Q&A with a judge’s associate Greg Roebuck Associate to The Honourable Justice Bongiorno AO How would you describe what you do on a day-today basis? It’s a mixture of in-court and out-of-court work. In court, the associate dons robes and sits in front of the judge, performing any in-court functions that aren’t performed by the judge. For instance, in jury trials, the associate conducts the jury empanelment process (this is the lottery process that is used to select a jury from a panel of prospective jurors) and, at the conclusion of the trial, takes the jury’s verdict. Out of court, the associate assists the judge to prepare for upcoming matters and, once a matter has been heard, may assist in the preparation of the judgment to be handed down in respect of that matter. The former task involves reading through the papers for a matter and then briefing the judge on the matter. In briefing the judge, the associate will explain what the case is about, what the key issues or questions for determination appear to be and, if appropriate, what the associate’s preliminary view with respect to those issues or questions is. The latter task can involve legal research, the preparation of memoranda dealing with specific issues and, where appropriate, assisting with the drafting of the judgment. Associates also have certain administrative duties. For instance, they function as the point-of-contact

for anyone seeking to contact the judge. Thus, communications between the bench and practitioners typically occur via associates. What are your favourite parts of being a judge’s associate? It’s all really enjoyable, to be honest. On a day-to-day basis, my favorite aspect of the job is probably the opportunity to discuss a matter with the judge after we’ve come out of a hearing. It is very JOUFSFTUJOHUPADPNQBSFOPUFTXJUIIJT)POPVSBOE to see what he made of the arguments put by counsel and the hearing generally. In terms of particular matters or cases, the highlight so far has probably been a murder trial that his Honour conducted last year. Criminal trials are, from both a legal and sociological perspective, absolutely fascinating. What skills have been the most valuable in your job? The skills required of an associate are the same as those required of any young lawyer. Associates should have a reasonable knowledge of the law (or at MFBTUUIFHFOFSBMAWJCFPGUIFEJČFSFOUBSFBTPGMBX  good oral and written communication skills and careers guidebook 2012


the ability to think critically and to analyse complex pieces of legal reasoning. When deciding on your career, what made you choose to become a judge’s associate? Everything about it appealed. The work sounded interesting, the experience that associates got seemed invaluable and the hours were much better than those typically worked by junior lawyers in large commercial firms. How did you get the job? I was very lucky. I heard that the judge was looking for a new associate through a friend of mine. After a considerable amount of procrastination, I managed to put together a cover letter and updated my CV

and sent them (along with a copy of my academic transcript) through to the judge’s then associate. I subsequently got called in for an interview and was lucky enough to get the job. What would you say to a law student considering becoming a judge’s associate? You should definitely do it. I think it is the best job a young lawyer can have. The opportunity to see XIBUHPFTPOCFIJOEUIFTDFOFTBUBDPVSU‰UPAMPPL behind the magician’s cloak of justice’, if you will — is absolutely invaluable for any lawyer who is interested in doing court work.

Barrister Profile and Q&A Robert Taylor Barrister JOAn ROSAnOVE CHAMBERS How would you describe what you do on a day-today basis? The day to day routine is actually never routine. My practice involves a significant component of Occupational Health and Safety and other forms of corporate regulation, including Building and Construction, Environment and Gaming. The days may involve attending critical incidents such a workplace fatalities and serious injuries, advising solicitors and clients on managing their interactions with investigators and ensuring individual and corporate rights are protected. Appearance work in my areas of practices ranges from the Coroners and Magistrate’s Courts to the 32 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

County and Supreme Court and on occasion the High Court. I have also appeared in South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales. In addition I have been involved in a number of Royal Commissions. Work also involves the analysis of briefs of evidence (both as a prosecutor in some areas and defence in others) with a view to contesting charges or negotiation of settlements. I have also engaged as part of the legal team working on an international investigation. What are your favourite parts of being a barrister? The variety of work, the intellectual challenge and

the independence.

latory bodies.

What skills have been the most valuable in your job?

Cases of significance have included the representation of multinationals and government agencies involved in environmental incidents and shipping collisions involving loss of life at sea. Robert has appeared for the Chief Commissioner of Police in Coronial proceedings involving deaths in custody and police shootings and high speed pursuits. He has also acted for individual police in similar circumstances.

Research skills and the ability to realise that very few problems have only one solution. When deciding on your career, what made you choose to become a barrister? I had previously worked as a police prosecutor and law instructor on the Victoria Police Prosecutors’ Course. As a result I had the opportunity to appear against many members of the Bar. It was the only thing I wanted to do as a lawyer. How did you get the job? I completed my degree mid year and completed Articles of Clerkship (as it was then known) over the following year. I was admitted to practice the same day as I commenced the Bar Readers Course. Having qualified at that course and signed the Bar Roll its then a matter of working hard and keeping your fingers crossed. Bar Profile Robert practices in a range of areas that have as a common theme the regulation and control of Industries and Corporations. He has been involved in advising significant investigations for various regu-

Robert has successfully defended companies charged with Occupational Health & Safety matters and continues to advise a range of organisations in this regard. The types of matters Robert handles have involved significant preparation for Court and on going long term advice to agencies and investigators. Prior to joining the Bar, Robert worked at the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office and as a Police Prosecutor and instructor on the Police Prosecutor’s Course. Robert is a past member of the Victorian Bar Readers’ Course. He also has been involved in the presentation of legal training on a voluntary basis to members of the Attorney-General’s Department and Director of Public Prosecutions staff in Papua New Guinea.

careers guidebook 2012


A career at King & Wood Mallesons offers you both global and local opportunities, the most interesting work, the best training and all the support you need to become a great lawyer. So, if you’re smart, social and up for a challenge – get ready to...


Constructing careers at King & Wood Mallesons daniel Allman Solicitor King & Wood Mallesons It can be difficult as a student to appreciate the “why” question. If, during your time at law school, you come to understand what corporate lawyers do, you’re doing pretty well. Understanding why they do it, though, may seem more obscure. The short answer, on its face, is not particularly helpful – as a professional services provider, a corporate law firm does its thing because clients need it done. On reflection, though, this points us in the right direction – your output as a corporate lawyer aligns with the objectives of your clients and the sectors in which they operate. During my time at King & Wood Mallesons (formerly Mallesons Stephen Jaques), I have focused on projects and infrastructure matters. For me, then, answering the “why” question has been a little easier. There is – quite literally – something concrete which results from my work. At King & Wood Mallesons, the International Graduate Program sees graduates undertake three sixmonth rotations. I have spent time in the Banking & Finance practice team (focusing on project finance), the Property Construction & Environment practice team (focusing on construction transactions), and the Dispute Resolution practice team (focusing on construction disputes). Partly by chance and partly by design, this has meant making a very small contribution to some very large pieces of social and economic infrastructure.

The three groups I have rotated through are dissimilar in many ways. They require different legal skills, they carry out different day-to-day work, and they work with different sorts of clients. However, while what they do may be different, there is a common thread in terms of their ultimate output. At different stages and from different perspectives, each of these groups plays a critical legal role in the development of projects and infrastructure. Take a public-private partnership, for example. Whether for a road, hospital or desalination plant, the structure is loosely the same. t

"QSJWBUFTFDUPSDPOTPSUJVNLFFOUP particpate in a PPP will first want to know where its money is coming from. Enter the Banking & Finance practice team, which may act for any party involved in a project finance transaction including financiers, sponsors and consortia. Managing finance risk means forecasting the figures, making sure that the project has enough funding to reach completion and that the completed project will generate a level of return.


5PHFUUIFQSPKFDUQIZTJDBMMZCVJMU UIF consortium will need to negotiate with its builders. In this context, construction lawyers from the Property Construction & Environment practice team prepare careers guidebook 2012


construction contracts and other risk management strategies on behalf of principals and contractors. Managing construction risk means determining who is best placed to bear the impact of, among other things, bad weather and other delays. t

*OFWJUBCMZ MBSHFBOEDPNQMFYJOGSBTUSVDUVSF  projects involve the potential for dispute. The Dispute Resolution practice team works with clients to achieve commercially-sensitive out comes, whether that means ending up in public litigation, pursuing some form of private alternative dispute resolution, or avoiding the escalation of a dispute at all costs.

If you’re interested in the structure and function of legal systems – the ways in which the law and society shape one another – this back-end disputes stage is where things get really exciting. How appropriate is it that the law (traditionally) submits parties to ge-

ographically-discrete dispute resolution? More generally, how sustainable is it that companies operate across borders while laws tend not to? Projects and infrastructure work involves parties from all around the world, whose lawyers continue to develop legal mechanisms which recognise the global realities of these operations. At King & Wood Mallesons, international commercial arbitration is a growing area of practice, and this is particularly the case for lawyers focusing on construction disputes. When thinking about becoming a corporate lawyer, don’t forget to ask the “why” question. If, like me, you want to feel as though you’re contributing to something permanent and productive, consider focusing on projects and infrastructure work. Your output will be set in concrete but your options won’t.

How Do You Sleep At night?” Amanda Burnnard Criminal Defence Lawyer Robert Stary Lawyers There are a lot of misconceptions about criminal law. You don’t get to pace up and down in front of the witness box. You’re not allowed to yell at the judge or magistrate. DNA results in fact take months, not seconds, to come back. And in fact, you sleep pretty soundly, not because of any lack of moral compass (far from it), but because fighting for justice is hard work! I work as a criminal defence lawyer, and have done so for a year. I was always interested in criminal law. Prior to joining Robert Stary Lawyers, I completed my Articles of Clerkship and then two years of post-admission practice at the Office of Public Prosecutions. I enjoyed prosecuting, and learnt a lot at the OPP, but I want36 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

ed to develop a more well-rounded practice and sharpen my advocacy skills, in preparation for my long-term goal to be a barrister (in Victoria, UIF QSPGFTTJPO JT TQMJU NBOZ MBXZFST QSBDUJTF BT solicitors for a few years to build up experience and contacts before becoming barristers). Defence work has delivered all that and more – it’s challenging, fast-paced and stressful, but very rewarding. I work in an office in Footscray with four other lawyers and support staff, as part of a wider firm comprised of six offices and over 20 lawyers. At the moment, I have approximately 35-40 clients,

who have been charged with a range of offences, from minor thefts, to drink-driving, to drug use and possession, to more serious drug offences, sexual offences, aggravated burglary, arson and armed robCFSZ4PNFPGNZDMJFOUTBSFQSJWBUFMZGVOEFENPTU are funded by Victoria Legal Aid. .Z SPMF JT OPU UP ASFQSFTFOU QFPQMF XIFO * LOPX they’re guilty,’ as I am often asked, but to provide advice to my clients, based on a careful analysis of the evidence relied upon by the prosecution and the client’s instructions, and then to represent them in court. Contrary to popular belief, most cases reTPMWFBTQMFBTPGHVJMUZNZSPMFUIFOJOWPMWFTOFHPtiating with the prosecution about which charges are to proceed and drawing to the court’s attention the sentencing principles applicable to my client. I prepare and appear at mention hearings, bail applications and plea hearings in both the Magistrates’ Court and the County Court, and instruct Counsel in indictable trials. .PTU PG NZ DMJFOUT BSF FYUSFNFMZ EJTBEWBOUBHFE they suffer from drug addictions, mental health conditions, and are often poor and uneducated. I not only provide them with legal advice, but give them a voice, while managing their expectations. On a typical day, I’m at court in the morning –usually in Melbourne, but sometimes at suburban courts or in the country. I might think I only have one matter before doing a bail application or plea on the spot for a new or existing client. Around lunchtime, I return to the office, dictate letters and other docu-

ments and return phone calls. In the late afternoon, I see clients, before doing more preparation. I generally work from about 8:00am to 6.30 or 7pm, and preparing at home or sometimes on the weekend is part and parcel of the job. It’s a difficult job but a rewarding one. Cross-examining a witness, making submissions and then having your client be granted bail is exhilarating (less so if he or she re-offends a few weeks later). Likewise, achieving a good sentencing outcome for your client is also very satisfying. It sounds clichÊd, but I really do enjoy making a difference to my clients’ lives. I also work with a wonderful team of people and I’m learning every day. Of course, there are also challenges – sad cases, clients that don’t attend appointments, lots of waiting around at court and keeping up with changes to the law on top of everything else. It’s not a job you do for the money – but you do build up some great dinner party stories! Working in criminal law requires excellent communication and organisational skills, attention to detail, an interest in social justice and an enquiring mind. If you are interested in practising in this area, I would recommend that you gain as much exposure as possible – do the optional subjects, volunteer at a community legal centre, see if you can get some work experience with a barrister, or just go and sit in court. It’s a fantastic area of law in which to work, and you’ll sleep well.

careers guidebook 2012


Employee Relations Courtney Ford Solicitor Freehills Why are you writing this?


Hmm, good question. Mostly I wanted to clarify that &NQMPZFF3FMBUJPOT PSA&3 JTi'SFFIJMMT4QFBLwGPS its employment practice. I’m in my third 8-month rotation since starting as a Graduate in 2010 and I think the ER practice is pretty special, especially considering it exists within a large firm such as Freehills. So I wanted to give you the Gist.

+VJDZNBUUFSToGSPNTFYVBMIBSBTTNFOU  to on-site injuries, to workplace bargaining – our work is mostly just really interesting!




8PSLJOHXJUIMFBEJOHFNQMPZNFOU lawyers in Australia who are passionate about the work they do.

The Gist Freehills’ employment practice is the largest and most highly-regarded in Australia, with our core areas of expertise including industrial relations, employment law, occupational health and safety, diversity and equal opportunity law, privacy and training. Our Singapore office also has an employment practice which is a leader for human resources solutions in the Asia region. Why employment?

A day in the life of ER throws a wide range of work at you – my day might include a trip down to court or Fair Work Australia, researching and writing a memo for one of the partners, drafting letters to WorkSafe Victoria in relation to an OHS prosecution, and assisting with a presentation on social media in the workplace (which includes legitimate research using Google, YouTube and Facebook).

For a junior lawyer, this means:

As the team is very social, my day will (inevitably) include catch-ups with other solicitors around the floor, and potentially a national telephone hook-up often held to keep us up to date with the latest cases and employment developments. If I’m really lucky the team may even be having a celebratory afternoon tea that day.


So, what now?

While a number of large firms practice employment MBX PęFO B ATVCHSPVQPGUIFJSMJUJHBUJPOQSBDUJDF  for instance), Freehills is unique in that is has a separate and thriving employment practice.


"OPQQPSUVOJUZUPXPSLPOTNBMMFS  matters with more responsibility (not always something easy to come by in a large firm). "OFYQPTVSFUPBEWJTPSZ MJUJHJPVT BOE even transactional-based work – as well as exposure to pre-eminent employers from a range of industries.

38 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

Our team comes from all different backgrounds, and many of us did not study employment law as university. Though the work is often challenging, you will gain the skills required by simply working here as long as you’re enthusiastic and open to learning. Hope to see you here sometime – good luck!

wORKPLACE relations Leigh howard Workplace Lawyer Clayton Utz As a law student looking to take the plunge into the legal profession, it is wise to find an area of law that exposes you to as many aspects of practice as possible. It is also recommended that you target areas that you’re interested in and enjoy. If your favourite subjects were criminal law and evidence at uni, joining a firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice may not be the best fit for you. After exposure to various kinds of practice through casual jobs and seasonal clerkships, I decided that Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety at Clayton Utz was right for me. Let me explain why. A8PSLQMBDF BTXFMJLFUPDBMMJU JTDPOTJEFSFEBTQFcialist practice - somewhat diverse to the other kind of work my colleagues in different practice groups carry out. Workplace is both advisory (drafting contracts and industrial instruments) and litigious. It involves federal and state legislation, as well as the interpretation of international law (workplace relations legislation often gives effect to rights conventions). Applying the common law (including contract, equity and tort law) is a daily requirement. Workplace practitioners therefore appear in both Federal and State Courts and Tribunals, and are required to negotiate, mediate and conciliate on behalf of their clients. When you take into consideration the additional legal issues that can often arise, such as discrimination, safety, privacy, human rights, defamation and social media - you can be confident that commencing your legal career as a Workplace lawyer will equip you with an excellent skill base. The Workplace Relations practice is fast-paced and challenging - you won’t be spending years acting on one piece of litigation or fighting your way through

mountains of contractual documents. There is never a dull moment as workplace legislation has a habit of drastically changing as the political-pendulum swings. At its core, Workplace Relations is about helping foster relationships between employers and employees. However, it is also an area of law that can consequently have an impact on a client’s customers, suppliers and other third-parties - take for example the recent Qantas industrial dispute. For me, choosing Workplace Relations at Clayton Utz was an obvious choice. I get to work with a leading Australian workplace relations team, which boasts a diverse client base including many ASX-listed companies and large government departments. Like all Clayton Utz practices, the Workplace team has a strong mentoring culture and provides a range of professional and personal development opportunities to support junior lawyers in reaching their full potential. Pro bono is an integral part of legal practice at Clayton Utz, and as a junior lawyer, I have had the opportunity to take leadership on a number of pro bono files. In doing so, I have further developed my technical and non-technical skills. I encourage you to think carefully and deeply about what aspects of law you enjoy practising as a lawyer. If workplace law sounds appealing, a rotation in the Clayton Utz Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety group as part of our graduate program is a great choice. The opportunities, diversity of work and exposure to various aspects of practice will not disappoint.

careers guidebook 2012


Thinking outside the square At Arnold Bloch Leibler, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to attracting and retaining the best. So when recruiting seasonal clerks and graduate trainees, we look for people who are seeking something out of the ordinary. We value our people who bring a diverse range of skill, talent and experience to the firm. Because today’s clerks and graduate trainees are our future competitive advantage, we offer them opportunities beyond the usual run-of-the mill experience. At Arnold Bloch Leibler, we are known for doing things a little differently. As one of Australia’s leading commercial law firms, our philosophy is to look for out-of-the-box solutions.

Katherine Brazenor

Daniel Mote

Nancy Collins

“Having completed three seasonal clerkships at a variety firms, it was Arnold Bloch Leibler that appealed to me the most – for its size, its cutting-edge work and the variety of people. There is certainly no ‘typical ABL person’.”

“My clerkship at ABL was both rewarding and representative of the work I now experience. I worked closely with my supervising partner, with real responsibility and access to high quality work.”

“As a mature age student with a young family, I wanted a firm that would recognise my life experience, value my skills and respect my family responsibilities. Managing work and family can be a challenge, but the culture at ABL makes it much easier than I anticipated.”

For more information, visit the careers section on our website Level 21 333 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia Telephone 61 3 9229 9999 Level 24 Chifley Tower 2 Chifley Square Sydney NSW 2000 Australia Telephone 61 2 9226 7100

Environment and PlanninG Sophie Marjanac Lawyer Clayton Utz Upon starting in the Environment and Planning practice group at Clayton Utz, I had very little idea of the type of work the group did. My first six months on the job were a steep learning curve, but an enjoyable one. I chose to settle in the Environment and Planning group because of the diversity of the work, and its dynamic and topical nature. Diversity A day in the Environment and Planning group is never dull. In my first rotation I was asked to provide research memos on planning controls for contaminated land in Victoria, analyse complex property law questions relating to easements, research the legislative regimes for native title and cultural heritage, discuss elements of Commonwealth and State environmental legislation in relation to the protection of endangered species, analyse and apply local government legislation, represent clients whose land had been compulsorily acquired, and consider various aspects of the regulation of the energy industry. The type of work also varies, and can range from conducting a case in VCAT or the Supreme Court involving the preparation of submissions and the collection of evidence, (as well as appearance work from time to time) to drafting specific legal advice in relation to discrete questions for a range of corporate and government clients with different needs and priorities. Our work can also involve negotiating and drafting complex agreements in relation to environmental risk, providing advice on the environmental approvals processes at both the State and Commonwealth level, as well as representing clients at Planning Panels Victoria, and being involved in briefing experts

and counsel for these hearings. Dynamism Given the rise to prominence of environmental issues, as well as the nature of planning as a responsive tool for social and urban design, environmental and planning laws are continually changing. The regulatory framework constantly evolves as society’s priorities change, and it is critical to keep abreast of these developments. This makes for an interesting and stimulating area of law which always keeps you on your toes. My team regularly prepare alerts, articles, and provide seminars for our clients and industry on legislative developments. Reflecting this dynamism, during my rotation in the group I had the opportunity to attend many seminars and conferences relating to a wide variety of topics, including a discussion comparing international carbon pricing mechanisms, the Commonwealth Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative, the Future Melbourne 2020 plan, recent successful urban redevelopments, wind farms, urban design and noise measurement and monitoring. Topical As development of land is often controversial, so is the field of environment and planning. This means that you may often be involved in matters that are passionately disputed on both sides. The public interest is often relevant in environment and planning decision making, which adds a public policy aspect to the work we do. Further, the results of our work are tangible and can be seen in key infrastructure developments, such as freeways and hospitals. The careers guidebook 2012


Environment and Planning team often works closely with our Construction and Major Projects group to advise clients on the timely and successful delivery of significant public infrastructure. Pro Bono

ing significant disadvantage. If you are someone who likes a new challenge almost every day, and the idea of working at the cuttingedge of an emerging area of law, then environment and planning law may be for you.

Pro bono is a fundamental part of being a lawyer at Clayton Utz. Graduates will begin immediately at the PILCH Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, and will have the chance to represent clients in relation to a wide variety of legal issues. I found this to be a great experience and an excellent way to improve my file and client management skills. I have also had the satisfaction of assisting someone who is experienc-

Government work at corrs norah wright & kate robertson Corrs Chambers Westgarth Corrs Chambers Westgarth is a member of the Victorian Government Legal Panel and provides a wide range of advice to the Victorian Government and statutory bodies. In addition, Corrs is a trusted advisor to government for a number of significant public projects in other Australian jurisdictions. The Corrs team has extensive experience in advising on a broad range of issues including major projects, construction, workplace relations, statutory interpretation & legislation development, information technology, corporate advisory, litigation, property and environmental law. Corrs has recently provided advice for some of the most significant government projects and issues, including the following: Major Projects t

8BUFSBEWJTJOHUIF4UBUFPG7JDUPSJBPOUIF delivery of the $3.5 billion Victorian

42 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

Desalination Project and the State of South Australia on the $1.1 billion Adelaide Desalination Plant. t

5FMFDPNNVOJDBUJPOTBEWJTJOH/#/$PPO the National Broadband Network rollout a nd all aspects of its business.


&DPOPNJDJOGSBTUSVDUVSF QPSUT SPBETBOE tunnels, rail and airports) - advising the Queensland Government on all aspects of the delivery of the Gold Coast Rapid Transit light rail project.


4PDJBMJOGSBTUSVDUVSF IPTQJUBMT IPVTJOH  prisons and schools) - advising the South Australian Government on the South Australian Schools Project and the Victorian Government on the Victorian Schools Project and Melbourne Convention Centre Development.

Legislation and Administrative Law t

"EWJTJOHPOBMMBTQFDUTPGUIF(BNCMJOH Licences Review, including undertaking a comprehensive review of and providing advice on the existing legislative, regulatory and contractual framework, as well as advising on a broad range of administrative, constitutional, competition, contractual and corporate law issues.


"EWJTJOHPOJTTVFTSFMBUJOHUPUIF8PSL Choices legislation, including challenging its constitutional validity in the High Court of Australia.


-FBEJOHBUFBNPGMBXZFSTJOTUSVDUJOH Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.

Property t

"EWJTJOHUIFJODPSQPSBUFEKPJOUWFOUVSF vehicle for the State and the City of Melbourne in the redevelopment and ongoing operation of the Regent Theatre.


"EWJTJOHUIF.VTFVNT#PBSEPG7JDUPSJB in the development of the IMAX Cinema and other facilities at the Melbourne Museum as well as the development of the Immigration Museum.


"EWJTJOHUIF$JUZPG.FMCPVSOFJOUIF development of the City Square at the

corner of Collins and Swanston Streets and the development of the former Queen Victoria Hospital site (now the site of the QV development). Workplace Relations and Occupational Health and Safety t

"EWJTJOHUIF7JDUPSJBO(PWFSONFOU BOE its various departments and agencies, on all aspects of employment and industrial relations matters, as well as the formulation of many legislative instruments including the Public Sector Employment (Award Entitlements) Act 2006, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 and amendments to the Common wealth Powers (Industrial Relations) Act 1996.


"EWJTJOHUIF$PNNPOXFBMUIPOUIF drafting of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the complex transitional provisions which allowed for the move from the Workplace Relations Act 1996 to the Fair Work Act 2009.


"EWJTJOHUIF7JDUPSJBOBOE/FX4PVUI Wales Governments in relation to the Qantas dispute.

careers guidebook 2012


aed legal centre Kairsty Wilson Legal Manager Association of Employees with Disability Inc How would you describe what you do on a day-today basis?

munity legal centre a long-term goal or something you came to over time?

My work is varied from day to day. AED Legal Centre is a Community Legal Centre for people with disability who have issues in employment or education. It is a very busy practice with over 230 clients and three lawyers and one full time Legal Coordinator as well as the General Manager. I am the Legal Manager and Supervising Legal Practitioner. I start early so I can have a few hours without the phone ringing so I can get a lot of work done. Once 9:00 comes, the day really starts, if there hasn’t already been a meeting. I attend meetings, both in the office and outside, with clients, respondents as well as through the administrative side of my role. I also have to attend court, Fair Work Australia, VCAT, AHRC or VHRC for either hearings, mediations or conciliations. As AED is a state wide service, I travel all over the state to see clients or attend their mediations/conciliations in the rural towns when they are unable to travel to Melbourne. I do most of the face to face client work whilst the other lawyer does the drafting of court documents which is the way he prefers it. Our Junior lawyer works wherever he is needed.

I started out as a division 1 nurse and worked for many years in both pediatrics and geriatrics for many years. After completing my combined law/arts degree I worked as a legal officer for a union for a few years and then in private practice. I didn’t really enjoy the politics of the union or having to charge clients fees so imagine my joy in finding a job that I could have the best of both worlds - using my legal knowledge to assist people who are from one of the most vulnerable groups and not having to charge for the representation. The position at AED was just the type of role that suits me as I can think outside the square to assist our clients to achieve legal remedies.

The ability to give access to justice to people with disability. I could see that there were so many people who needed assistance but couldn’t get it from the private law firms due to the fees. Working for AED has given me the freedom to achieve these goals and seeing the benefits for our clients makes it all worth while.

What do you enjoy most about working at the AED Legal Centre?

What would you say to a law student considering work in a similar role?

The challenge of trying to assist a group of people who are often facing more than one issue at a time. It is on many occasions heartbreaking work but it is so rewarding when you see how the hard work pays off. When the little boy is able to finally attend school, people with disabilities are recognized as “employees” rather than “consumers” or the sacked employee gets their job back - the smiles on our clients’ faces are what makes the work at AED most enjoyable.

It is very hard work but rewarding. It is an area that desperately needs lawyers who have empathy for a group of people who need assistance to get, in many cases just their basic human rights. We all believe that we have a right to education, to work, as well as of course other things but we only practice in this area. Our clients have to fight to have these rights recognized so I would say to any law student considering working in this area or even in a community legal centre: go for it as despite the long hours and sometimes difficult and sad situations that we see, the knowledge that you are doing something with your knowledge to achieve results is a reward beyond measure.

How has your career path progressed to lead you to your current position? Was working in a com44 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

What drew you to your current position?

natural Resources and Energy Law Aylin Girgin and Craig Amundsen Associates Baker & McKenzie Working with clients in these industries requires an understanding of the interaction between a wide range of laws, including contract law, corporations law, mergers and acquisitions law, property law, construction law and banking and finance law, as well as various legislative frameworks that govern sectors of the natural resources and energy industries. Most natural resources and energy lawyers end up specialising in a single industry, becoming an expert on how a variety of laws apply to, for example, the energy, mining or water industry. They also gain a basic understanding of the technologies used within that industry. Natural resources and energy law is an exciting area of practice, as the management of natural resources, energy and carbon are major political, environmental and social issues. Lawyers must be across new and impending laws that will regulate clients’ existing energy and resources projects and activities, while also understanding the regulation of upcoming technologies for energy production that clients may seek to employ in a new project or venture. Natural resources and energy law also has a significant international component. Many resources and energy projects are undertaken by one or more foreign or multinational companies. A lawyer advising on such a project must be aware of the relevant requirements for a foreign client to conduct its business in Australia and for Australian clients to do business overseas. For a Baker & McKenzie lawyer, this often means working with lawyers in our offices around the world and travelling to other countries to conduct negotiations on our clients’ behalf, resulting in further knowledge of international business customs and the application of laws of other jurisdictions.

If you are keen to practice in an area that offers generalist legal and specialist industry experience, as well as a combination of transactional and advisory work, you might want to consider natural resources and energy law. At Baker & McKenzie, natural resources and energy lawyers undertake work including: t  t  t

"EWJTJOHBSBOHFPGQBSUJDJQBOUTJOUIF Australian oil and gas industry, from upstream producers to energy retailers and MBSHFJOEVTUSJBMDVTUPNFST "EWJTJOHPOUIFEFWFMPQNFOU DPOTUSVDUJPO and financing of electricity, gas, renewable FOFSHZBOECJPGVFMTQSPKFDUTBOEQJQFMJOFT

"DUJOHPOTJHOJĕDBOUUSBOTBDUJPOTJOUIF Australian electricity and gas industries (including state government privatisation QSPDFTTFT 




8PSLJOHPOSFTPVSDFTBOEFOFSHZ transactions and reforms in foreign jurisdictions, including New Zealand, 4JOHBQPSF ,PSFBBOE+BQBO

 t  t

"DUJOHGPSHPWFSONFOUT JODMVEJOHUIF4UBUF of New South Wales, the State of Victoria BOEUIF$PNNPOXFBMUIPG"VTUSBMJBBOE "DUJOHGPSJOEVTUSZSFHVMBUPST JODMVEJOH the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change.

careers guidebook 2012


A career in natural resources and energy law can be a highly rewarding one. The senior lawyers who practice this discipline at Baker & McKenzie, through their years of experience, have strong technical legal skills across a number of areas of law and an excellent understanding of the commercial issues relevant to the resources and energy industries. A

career in resources and energy law can also be very satisfying on a personal level as it provides you with the opportunity to work on long-term projects, delivering sustainable infrastructure that will ensure the supply of essential commodities and services well into the future.

Public Interest Law elizabeth o’shea

associate social justice practice Maurice Blackburn If you’re passionate about making a real difference and standing up for those who can’t fight for themselves, consider a career at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. Maurice Blackburn is a leading litigation firm in plaintiff law. The firm was established by labour lawyer Maurice Blackburn in 1919 and has grown to more than 600 employees in Victoria, NSW, ACT, Queensland and WA. Not everyone in the firm is B MBXZFS XF IBWF TPNF PG UIF CFTU MFHBM NJOET JO Australia, but we also have highly dedicated and passionate staff members who work as legal assistants and paralegals, as well staff as in areas such as finance, HR, IT, knowledge management, marketing and media. The most important thing to our staff and clients is our values. Our most important value is a commitment to social justice. This sense of common purpose makes it a great place to work. I run our Social Justice Practice, a department dedicated to running public interest litigation. The cases are run by lawyers from every practice area of the firm – workers’ compensation, TAC, asbestos, medical negligence, industrial relations, superannuation claims, class actions and commercial. People loved being involved and it is work that is supported by the leadership of the firm. 46 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

It is an exciting and challenging area to work in. I run big and small cases and make sure people who want to work on cases have the opportunity to do so. I’m always learning about new areas of law and keeping an eye out for creative ways to fight injustice. The firm is very proud of its reputation for social justice. People love being involved in the work of our Social Justice Practice. Recent cases include the successfully defending the charitable status of Aid/ Watch in the High Court and strengthening the constitutional right to freedom of political commuOJDBUJPODIBMMFOHJOHUIFPXOFSTIJQPGIVNBOHFOF technology regarding a patent of breast and ovarJBODBODFSBOESFQSFTFOUJOHBHSPVQPG5SBEJUJPOBM Owners who allege they were not adequately consulted regarding the proposed location of a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory. The rewards for working at Maurice Blackburn are much more than monetary. You get the satisfaction of having helped people every day, and made their lives a little bit – or a lot – better. Find us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: @wefightforfair

Public interest law and native title Peter Seidel Partner, public interest law Arnold bloch leibler Contributing to civil society and a strong commitment to pro bono work lie at the at the very heart of Arnold Bloch Leibler’s culture and identity. Through our public interest law & native title practice, which I am privileged to co-ordinate, we represent a diverse group of organisations, communities and people, using our very best endeavours to make worthwhile contributions to various causes. Part of our ethos at Arnold Bloch Leibler is to serve the community in which we, as lawyers, occupy a privileged position. The firm’s public interest law practice is intentionally targeted to areas where the firm’s skills, knowledge and resources can best be utilised. Without expectation of fee from the client, our aim is to assist individuals or organisations in need to: t t t


Our public interest law and native title practices are BOJOUFHSBMQBSUPGUIFĕSN OPUTPNFNFSFAGFFMHPPE adjunct to it. In 2010/11, averaged across the firm, each of Arnold Bloch Leibler’s fee earners carried out over 75.6 hours of pro-bono work well in excess of double the National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s aspirational target of 35 hours for each lawyer. Arnold Bloch Leibler is an active member of, and a contributor to, the Public Interest Law Clearing House, and provides continuing pro bono legal ad-

vice on a vast range of important Jewish, Indigenous, environmental and general not-for-profit causes, in BSFBT JODMVEJOH HFOFSBM DPNNFSDJBM MBX BENJOJTUSBUJWFSFGVHFF MBX OBUJWF UJUMF SBDJBM EJTDSJNJOBUJPO BOE IVNBO SJHIUT DPNQMBJOUT QSPQFSUZ BOE taxation law. For nearly 20 years now, Arnold Bloch Leibler has been deeply committed to contributing to the cause of Indigenous justice. Our commitment to Indigenous peoples has been further strengthened by the firm’s involvement with Reconciliation Australia and the launch of our Reconciliation Action Plan in March 2008, which has a strong focus on providing pro bono support to Indigenous causes and communities and breaking down the barriers that prevent fair Indigenous employment opportunities. We readily and gratefully acknowledge that our public interest law work has assisted us in the recruitment and retention of the very best and brightest talent. That’s where you come into the picture. To complement that, experience tells us that pro bono public interest law work has a capacity to reinvigorate interest and enthusiasm for the practice of law for our older lawyers. In choosing and committing to Arnold Bloch Leibler as you build your career, you will automatically become part of our public interest law team, as we IBWFAXIPMFPGĕSNBQQSPBDIUPUIFQVCMJDJOUFSFTU law work we do. Your passion and enthusiasm to get involved will contribute to the causes at hand and to the public good. careers guidebook 2012


Many graduates are well aware of the need for pro bono work to be a substantive part of a law firm’s work, beyond a superficial commitment, and rightly look among respective employers for a real and continuing focus on public interest law work. You will certainly find it at Arnold Bloch Leibler as we hold

in a healthy balance fee paying imperatives and nonfee paying public interest law commitments.

Pro bono and community service Amy Barber Associate baker & mckenzie It was important for me to join a commercial law firm with a genuine interest in access to justice and community service. Baker & McKenzie stood out to me from the start, with its focus on connecting with the local and global community and promoting, as part of its employees’ core professional responsibilities, that its employees share their skills and time with those in need. From my very first experience with Baker & McKenzie, as a summer clerk in the Melbourne office, I was given a file to manage from the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic (HPLC) which involved me providing assistance to a young homeless man with a number of infringement notices. Other summer clerks were given the opportunity to advise terminally ill patients from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Patients’ Legal Service in relation to their legal matters, in particular assisting them with accessing their superannuation early. The opportunity to develop my communication skills and drafting skills through undertaking pro bono legal work, and be exposed to different types of legal processes through such work, was invaluable at this early stage of my legal career. As a summer clerk, it was also rewarding to see that many of the junior lawyers at Baker & McKenzie were part of a cross-border team (comprising people from our Melbourne and Bangkok offices) which helped South East Asia Investiga48 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

tions Into Social and Humanitarian Activities (SISHA). SISHA is an organisation which supports and brings justice to human trafficking survivors. An International Clerkship in Baker & McKenzie’s Tokyo office exposed me to various public international law projects, often coordinated from the New York office. I was given the opportunity to assist Ashoka, an association of global social entrepreneurs, conduct seminars in collaboration with a group of multi-national companies in relation to international laws and practices affecting their social entrepreneur work when globalizing their initiatives. It was also fascinating to learn that our international network allowed us to provide pro bono work for international clients like Save the Children, represent the International Research and Exchanges Board in presenting perspectives on a draft “freedom of information law” for Yemen with in-house counsel at The New York Times Company, and help protect the rights of people living in poverty by teaming up with American Express to develop a plan for the Office of the Global Defender of the Poor for the United Nations Development Program. As a graduate lawyer, my experience of Baker & McKenzie’s community and pro bono involvement was only enhanced. I spent my first six month rotation

in the Employment group where I had the chance to work on some employment law related pro bono projects including an unfair dismissal application in Fair Work Australia against one of our pro bono clients. For my second rotation as a graduate lawyer, I had the invaluable experience of joining the dedicated pro bono team in Baker & McKenzie’s Melbourne office. My pro bono work included assisting with the domestic pro bono programs including the HPLC and Peter MacCallum Cancer Patients Legal Service, assisting with various aspects of pro bono matter management across the firm, attending pro bono client meetings, representing Baker & McKenzie at different events in the legal sector, undertaking knowledge projects and participating as an active member of the Baker & McKenzie Community Service Committee. During my pro bono rotation, I was also seconded part-time to the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH). PILCH acts as a facilitator of pro bono legal services between the community and the private legal profession. A secondee is expected to help with the referral work to promote access to justice and contribute to filling the significant gap in providing legal services for those who cannot afford it. During my secondment, I worked with the Bar Referral Scheme, Public Interest Referral Scheme, Law Institute of Victoria Referral Scheme and PilchConnect (a referral scheme assisting not-for-profit organisations). My secondment at PILCH was a fantastic opportunity as a young lawyer to develop and broaden my legal skill set. I was involved in a variety of research and policy work, court appearances, my own file work, client meetings, and various professional development opportunities. No day was the same at PILCH and I had incredible experiences which included developing a report on the unmet legal need in Victoria.

including health, education, poverty, youth and the arts with an overarching global focus. Operating as a separate arm to the Pro Bono team, Baker & McKenzie has a long history of community involvement and supporting local and international charities. The charities chosen by the Melbourne office for the 2012 Financial Year were St Vincent de Paul, Red Dust Role Models and BeyondBlue. It’s not just for lawyers at Baker & McKenzie - a range of community service programs are set up for all employees across the Sydney and Melbourne offices including a pen pal program that encourages disadvantaged children in rural Victoria to write to our employees, a mentoring program in which we support underprivileged members of the community engage in study, workplace giving programs, clothing drives and other various fundraisers including Movember, “bake offs”, and film fundraiser nights which are held regularly to support our nominated charities or organisations who require support for disaster relief. In 2011, over 80% of our lawyers and staff participated in one or more programs. Employees are also encouraged to be a part of the Community Service Committee which coordinates a lot of these efforts and community volunteering opportunities. Baker & McKenzie is genuinely committed to pro bono and community service, with such initiatives being driven by our global management teams and Global Corporate Responsibility Board. It is truly inspiring that our firm’s international culture focuses on making a difference to our world, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated and inspiring individuals at Baker & McKenzie.

At Baker & McKenzie, lawyers at all levels are encouraged to take part in pro bono legal work and the firm has set an inspirational target of 50 hours per lawyer per year, well above the National Pro Bono Resource Centre Target of 35 hours per year. These targets are built into our lawyers’ billable targets and in 2011, we billed about 11,000 hours of our lawyers’ time to pro bono! Baker & McKenzie has chosen broad target areas to filter their Pro Bono work across all practice groups, careers guidebook 2012


Pro Bono in Practice Herbert Geer Many lawyers are driven by notions of justice and fairness and recognise that providing pro bono legal services advances the rule of law by providing greater access to justice. At Herbert Geer, we recognise that there are a variety of benefits that flow from the provision of pro bono legal services. We are able to provide comfort and reassurance to disadvantaged individuals and support the provision of charitable activities by organisations. As for our lawyers, they are given the opportunity to satisfy their responsibility to assist those who are otherwise unable to afford legal representation. Herbert Geer encourages its lawyers to undertake pro bono work by ensuring that lawyers receive credit for pro bono work in the same way they are credited for regular client work. Even though participation in the pro bono program is voluntary, Herbert Geer finds that most lawyers are eager to contribute and become involved. Young lawyers often find that working with pro bono clients helps them to develop their inter-personal skills. Working collaboratively with other teams within the firm means lawyers can also build their technical and managerial skills. Young lawyers at Herbert Geer have recently worked on the following matters on a pro bono basis: t  t t  t  t


50 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

The easiest way for young lawyers and graduates to get involved in pro bono work at Herbert Geer is through the Seniors Rights Legal Clinic in Bundoora (SRLC), a free legal service for seniors staffed by Herbert Geer lawyers. The following case studies highlight two matters that Herbert Geer has undertaken on a pro bono basis: Case Study 1 “A recent case undertaken by Herbert Geer as part of the SRLC involved Herbert Geer acting for a Spanish speaking couple in their eighties. Our clients could not read, write or speak English. Nevertheless, with the assistance of an interpreter, we established that our clients’ son had borrowed large sums of money secured by a mortgage over a property that our clients owned and lived in with their son. It was also established that the son had borrowed those sums without his parents’ knowledge or consent and had used those sums to purchase various luxury vehicles, a boat, another house and a business without recognising his parents’ equitable interest in those assets. When the property was sold, our clients were surprised to learn the equity in the property had been reduced significantly and their son was trying to retain a large portion of that amount. Having invested their life savings into the purchase of the property some 10 years earlier, our clients were left with no assets and were forced to rely on care provided by their other children. The Herbert Geer SRLC team, with the assistance of Counsel provided by the Victorian Bar Legal Assistance Scheme, issued proceedings against our clients’ son, his wife and their son in the County Court of Victoria. Our clients sought a declaration for the ability to retain the sale proceeds from the sale of the property. The County Court proceedings were mediated, at which time it was agreed our clients were entitled to $150,000 of the $160,000 remaining following the sale of the property. Our clients were extremely happy

with the outcome having received more than 90% of the amount in dispute without having to endure the ordeal of giving evidence against their son. Our clients are finally getting on with their lives after nearly two years of anxiety and stress.” Case Study 2 “Another example of pro bono work undertaken by Herbert Geer involves the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), which is a Melbourne based medical research organisation that is among the world’s top five eye research institutes. Like many research institutes, it has a foundation to help it raise money and also administers another trust that supports eye research. Herbert Geer assisted CERA with a comprehensive review of their governance documents for the two trusts allowing CERA to better continue with its fundraising and research activities.” Herbert Geer has pro bono committees in its offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The commit-

tees meet regularly to discuss and manage issues relating to pro bono as well as organising pro bono functions at which the guest speakers have included Reverend Tim Costello and Simon McKeon. A number of young lawyers sit alongside Partners on the pro bono committees, which assists those young lawyers to build contacts within the firm and develop additional skill sets, such as the ability to develop and evaluate strategies. Herbert Geer undertakes a variety of pro bono matters and represents, to name a few, the following organisations: Australian Childhood Foundation, Victorian Deaf Society, Disability Employment Action Centre, Back to Back Theatre, Fitzroy Legal Service, The Big Issue, World Vision, Noah’s Ark, the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Bowel Cancer Australia, Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project and the Southern Ethnic Advisory and Advocacy Council.

Life in regional Victoria KIM MCFARLAnE Wakefield & Vogrig Lawyers

Deciding where to apply to do your articles, now traineeship, should be a personal decision. I began my articles in March 2007 at Gippsland firm Wakefield & Vogrig Lawyers, which has offices in Warragul and Drouin. I was fortunate enough to move into a property that is owned by my parents. The next thing I knew I was faced with the issues of cows roaming on the side of the road and foxes howling in the night. I thought, “What have I done,” but two years on I can unequivocally say that it was the best decision I could have made for my career. In my articles year I was the instructing solicitor for a million-dollar intellectual property matter in the Federal Court. I was also granted leave to appear in the Magistrates’ Court as an articled clerk for both summary and indictable matters. As a first year solicitor, I have now run my own contest hear-

ings in the Magistrates’ Court and if I brief a barrister I am able to instruct, which only enhances my knowledge and skills. I have also appeared in the Supreme Court. I think I was the youngest person in the courtroom. There is no price that you can put on this experience. Practising in regional Victoria also allows you to deal with a diverse range of areas in the law and each day is different. For example, one day you can be dealing with issues involving damages for injured cows and the next day you can be dealing with a fraud or rape matter. The personal dealings with your client are invaluable as you are involved with their matter from taking instructions to its completion. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the end result of all the hard work careers guidebook 2012


you have put into a file. This also enables you to get a handle on the law, to help you solve the most complex of cases earlier on in your career and see the intricacies of how the law works outside of a textbook. A common issue is that young lawyers are often seen not to be able to handle complicated cases. My examples indicate a reason to practise as a young lawyer in regional Victoria – you are more likely to gain credibility by being successful with handling your own cases and therefore your career will gather momentum and clients will gravitate towards you. Initially I was driving back to Melbourne every weekend, but I made the conscious decision to embrace everything the Gippsland region had to offer, including the wineries.

If you decide to move to regional Victoria you need to be willing to engross yourself in the community. I am now the Gippsland young lawyer representative and co-chair on the Regional and Suburban Young Lawyers’ Committee (RSYLC), which has allowed me to build professional and social networks and promote the needs of young lawyers in regional Victoria. I have never looked back after making my decision to work in regional Victoria and I strongly recommend the regions. This article first appeared in the Winter 2009 edition of the Young Lawyers Journal (YLJ) published by the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) and reproduced with the permission of the LIV.

Go bush, young lawyer MICHELLE O’SULLIVAn lAWYER Working in regional Victoria was an easy choice for me. I was a country girl to start with, having grown up in Rochester, and I returned to Bendigo after completing a Bachelor of Commerce/Law (Honours) at Deakin University in Geelong. I still have family in this area, so that made the decision to practise in the country somewhat easier for me than it might be for other graduating lawyers. But I made a conscious decision to work in Bendigo at the end of my studies. I returned to Bendigo to complete my articles at John R. Buman & Co. a firm at which I worked during my school holidays and university holidays to gain experience in law. It was an incredible learning curve when I started my articles. It really hit home just how different the actual practising of law was from the studying of law. But I think there were a lot of benefits in being based in regional Victoria. A huge part of that for me is being part of a smaller community, and not just professionally. There are opportunities to get involved in community groups and volun52 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

teer for organistions, sit on boards and the like. I think it’s easier to get involved in the community in the country because of the smaller population. It’s easier to get to know people, which means you have the opportunity to develop really good working relationships. Word of mouth works wonders in the country. Then there are the things that seem small, but that make my day-to-day life a little easier, the main one being travel time to get to work. I haven’t worked in Melbourne, but I understand from colleagues that one of the worst parts of their work is the commute into the city in peak hour. In Bendigo, home is about 10 minutes from my office. There’s also less pressure in terms of billable hours than in large firms in Melbourne. On top of all that, it’s really not that far to Melbourne. I think all these things make Bendigo a really attractive place to be. I worked with John R. Buman & Co. for nearly eight years and in mid-2008 decided to take the plunge

and practise on my own. It has been an amazing two years. The hardest thing I have found is managing that elusive work/life balance. I work long hours, and because I’m a newly started sole practising solicitor I haven’t felt able to take leave or holidays yet. That aspect of owning your own practice is probably the hardest. On the other hand, all this hard work is for myself. I don’t have to answer to anyone or have the pressure of meeting billing quotas, and it really makes a huge difference when you’re putting in those hours for yourself. I think it’s a common sentiment among business owners – long hours and hard work are worth it when it’s your own business that you’re building up.

You can decide who you want to work for and when – and really, it is up to you how hard you work. You’re also able to foster more personal relationships with clients when you’re working for yourself because your time is your own to manage. I get to really see the ways that I’m helping people, which makes the job extremely rewarding, especially given it’s a smaller community that I’m part of and that I’m supporting. Nurturing those relationships and feeling that I’m really helping people means my work is very satisfying for me. This article first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition of the Young Lawyers Journal (YLJ) published by the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) and reproduced with the permission of the LIV.

Sports Law in Practice Chris nikou / Caroline Carnegie Partner / Senior Associate middletons Sports law is not a single legal topic or area of practice. In essence, it involves commercial legal principles as they apply to clients that operate in the sports industry. In this day and age, sport is ultimately a business, and accordingly contracts, employment and industrial relations, discrimination, tort, taxation, dispute resolution, risk management, media and broadcasting rights, brand protection and IP and property matters are all relevant to the practice of sports law. The clients a sports lawyer has face unique challenges given the public scrutiny that is often involved in acting for such high profile organisations and/or athletes. In addition, although sports law is often the application of traditional areas of legal practice to a different type of client, there are distinct challenges involved in practicing in this area, given that decisions in this sphere often need to be

made quickly (having regard to the reputation of the club or governing body, the influence of the media on commercial decisions, and the effect of the law or any decision making on the career of any athlete you may be acting for). Today, this area of practice is one of the fastest growing areas of law and to successfully practice in it, sports lawyers need to be highly knowledgeable and skilled in a wide variety of subjects and to have an understanding of the sporting landscape, including the principles and application of WADA, appropriate structures for sporting organisations, the changing face of sponsorship, difficulties associated with brand reputation (both of the organisation and sponsors), player management, merchandising arrangements, sporting facility agreements, contract management, corporate governance and more.

careers guidebook 2012


VICTORIA LEGAL AID Victoria Legal Aid is a state wide organisation that helps people with their legal problems. We protect peoples rights, and focus on the rights of marginalised and economically disadvantaged Victorians. With over 600 staff and 14 offices, we are the largest and most accessible criminal law, family law, youth law and human rights practice in Victoria. In the Criminal Law program, our staff practice in the areas of summary and indictable crime, and provide a prison advice service. We also have a team of in-house advocates, the Public Defender’s Unit. The Family Law Program operates in the diverse areas of family advice and litigation, appropriate dispute resolution, family violence, independent child representation and child support and protection. The Civil Justice program focuses on civil and administrative law issues affecting human rights and social justice. This includes migration, mental health and disability advocacy, guardianship and administration, community and financial hardship, Commonwealth entitlements and social security. Our lawyers also participate in community legal education projects coordinated through the Access & Equity Program, and in justice and law reform work. New Lawyers Program (NLP): The New Lawyers Program is a unique two year post admission program for first and second year lawyers. The program is designed to support you to develop the knowledge and skills required to effectively represent Victoria legal Aid’s unique and diverse clients. A 5 day tailored induction with be followed by a comprehensive training and development program to complement the experiential on the job learning. You will undertake four 6 month placements, with at least one being in a regional office - Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Morwell, Shepparton, or Warrnambool. Throughout the program you will be supervised 54 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

and supported by the New Lawyer Program manager, managing lawyers, and a trained placement AIPTUćFQSPHSBNIBTUIFBEEFECFOFĕUTPGXPSLing alongside dedicated colleagues and a strong peer support network. The NLP is a unique opportunity to: t  t  t t  t  t  t  t


Pre-requisites The New Lawyers program is designed specifically for first and second year lawyers. Upon commencing you will need to have successfully completed the practical legal training requirements for admission in accordance with the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2008. New lawyer profile - Stephen Peterson (NLP 2010) What did I expect from a graduate program, and, for that matter, what should you expect? I know that I expected training, some experience in advocacy and ĕMFXPSLBOEBMPUPGMFBSOJOHBCPVUAIPXJUBMMXPSLT I did gain those things, but I was also exposed to a lot of things that I didn’t expect. My focus on criminal law has been supported by lawyers throughout VLA and I have been given opportunity after opportunity. These included grass roots community development

projects, appearing in the Magistrates’ Court, Childrens’ Court and County Court in various capacities, running County Court trials and instructing in the Supreme Court. Having spent a considerable portion of time at the Morwell office, I can safely say that the opportunities in regional offices are extensive. A small closeknit team, broad range of work and plenty of support and encouragement has meant that I am constantly pushed to achieve more, both personally, and for my clients. I have found the country experience to be a unique means of fast tracking my personal development. However, this is not to say that there are not valuable opportunities available throughout VLA. I have been given diverse opportunities – for example, working in the specialist Sexual Offences Team and also appearing at Mental Health Review Board hearings. Ultimately, my involvement in complex case work and advocacy has only been bounded by my own level of competence.

The practical experience has been supplemented by an intensive training regime, sensibly pitched for junior practitioners who are developing their skills. As I have increasingly specialised in criminal law, specific training has become available on both the law and advocacy components. My experience of the NLP and VLA in general is that there is a culture of supporting lawyers to develop advocacy skills and allowing time for training in this area. A decision to become a part of the NLP is one that brings significant privilege but also places one in a position of considerable responsibility. VLA is completely unique in Victoria in its focus, underlying values and wealth of accessible experience. As a new lawyer I have been catapulted straight into the front line where peoples’ lives are affected by my decisions. Clients place their trust into my hands on a daily basis. It is an enormous responsibility, which I feel honoured to bear.

BORN GL BAL At Baker & McKenzie we are different in the way we think, work and behave. Like no other law firm we were born global. Right from the beginning we’ve been offering a genuinely global perspective and operating without boundaries around the world. Our established global reach offers you an extraordinary career in the global economy, exchanging rich local insights and knowledge with the best legal minds from all over the world every day. And our unrivalled regional and local development programs will make you a truly global lawyer. Fast. We’re an entrepreneurial firm where new ideas and innovation are encouraged at all levels. A place where small teams and a personal approach to your career means you can go as far and fast as your talents and drive will take you.

Ready to explore our world? Natalie Pinto in Melbourne +61 3 9617 4349 Posy McGrane in Sydney +61 2 8922 5482


“My practical legal training made a real difference for me, my firm and my career.” ALISON KENNEDY - COLLEGE OF LAW GRADUATE

“I really believe that thorough practical legal training from the best and biggest provider in Australia has been far better for me, my career and my firm. The College of Law is Australia’s largest PLT provider and they specialise only in legal practice. They have the best and most flexible online PLT programs with the most comprehensive practice papers.” Make the right choice for your career and call 1300 856 111 or visit

04. Public Sector Careers

THE EXPERIEnCE OF A GOVERnMEnT LAWYER SYLVIA GROBTUCH public sector lAWYER After nearly thirty years of interesting and sometimes exciting experience as a public sector lawyer, I am able to give you a perspective on life as a government lawyer. A career in the Victorian Public Service has enabled me to change jobs and gain a variety of experience in different roles addressing a diversity of subjectmatter, whilst still retaining the relative security and focus of an ongoing career as a Government lawyer. My main experience has been as an in-house legal adviser, but I have also worked in offices which consist mainly of groups of other lawyers. I started off in the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, where I learnt how to draft new and amending Acts of Parliament. This position gave me a familiarity with the Victorian Statute book. It also gave me a confidence in reading, interpreting and working with legislation. This was something my academic training did not do. In the late 70’s, the focus at the University of Melbourne in the law faculty was on common law, and we studied each area of law primarily through the development of its case law. Little time was devoted to the skills of statutory interpretation, except for it being a segment of a subject called Legal Process in first year. That position also taught me the importance of paying attention to detail, and the significance of context. When preparing an amendment to an existing Act, it was vital to become familiar with that entire Act, no matter how minute the nature of the amendment, lest the amending Act inadvertently have an impact on some other part of that Act. For instance, if inserting a new definition, one had to know exactly where that definition was used throughout the Act. 58 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

It was exciting to attend at Parliament House in the early evening to find a place to sit and urgently draft on the run a “House Amendment” for an opposition MP. Those were the days when the opposition party had a majority in the Upper House, so those amendments were often carried. It was, and still is, enormously satisfying to see a law you have drafted forming part of a bound volume of Victorian Acts of Parliament. Many of my colleagues from those days are still there – a testament to the compelling and engrossing nature of that work. Most of the others advanced to senior roles within Government, a testament to the skills gained in that office. I would still have been there also, if not for the fact that I went on secondment to another agency, and realised how interesting and varied the work of an in-house legal adviser could be. That next role was a stint as an in-house legal adviser at the Office of the State Training Board, which was then the technical and further education (TAFE) regulator. The work included assisting with development of a new legislative framework for TAFE. That area was moving to a model which was driven by the needs of the various industries, to replace the old way of TAFE colleges churning out a number of apprentices which was unrelated to the current needs of the industries for which they were headed. There I learnt how to formulate proposals for legislation, and how to brief, both in person and in writing, Ministers, CEOs and stakeholders. By the time that secondment was up, I was enjoying the client contact and the practical aspects. I knew that I wanted that type of job.


I moved next to the role of in-house lawyer for the then Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. We regulated public land (which was 40 percent of all land in the State) including forests, national parks, fisheries and Crown land reserves. There were 17 regions, and staff from all of these could and did ring you to seek legal advice. I was constantly prioritising and reprioritising the requests for legal advice. Much of the work was preparation of contracts, from the engagement of a contractor to build a fence, to hiring a helicopter from the US to waterbomb fires during the “fire season�. There was also a lot of statutory interpretation work and some legal battles to be fought. On one occasion, the Department recovered compensation from a company which had used an intricate wildflower drawing (produced by a specialist artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens and therefore the intellectual property of the State of Victoria) on a set of curtains. On another occasion, mountain cattlemen challenged the then Government’s decision to reduce the land available for grazing through creation of a new Alpine National Park. The scallop fishermen also took us to the Supreme Court to challenge the Minister’s issue of a fisheries notice closing Port Phillip Bay to scallop fishing. They claimed that this overrode the fishing entitlements they had paid for under their licences, and they succeeded. My next appointment was as legal advisor to the Victorian Gaming Commission, and I have remained essentially in that role with successive regulators. The role evolved with the different phases of the evolution and regulation of the gambling industry. A job as senior lawyer with the State’s gambling regulator involves – t


*OJUJBMMZ QSFQBSJOHESBęJOHJOTUSVDUJPOTBOE bids for new legislation – it was very satisfying to sit in the Parliament and listen to your Minister read a Second Reading Speech which you had written.










"UUFOEJOHBUNFFUJOHTXJUIMJDFOTJOHBOE compliance staff, other agencies, stakeholders, barristers and solicitors acting for the agency or for opposing parties in MJUJHBUJPO




1SFQBSJOHBMMUZQFTPGEPDVNFOUTo commercial agreements and contracts, discussion papers, advice, briefings, formal notices, procedures, letters, newsletter articles, contributions to the Annual Report.


$PNJOHVQXJUIXPSLBCMFQSPQPTBMTGPS amendments to your legislative framework.

If you choose to become a manager in the public service, you also acquire a wealth of management experience and learn about areas including business planning, policy development, project management, risk management, corporate governance, human resources and financial management. You have the opportunity to obtain training in various areas, for instance, project management, continuing legal education, and leadership programs. As the senior legal adviser, you will be a respected member of the corporate management team, working together to achieve the common goals of the organisation. It is important not to have an elitist attitude – I have seen some lawyers founder with this. Your legal qualification does not place you above your colleagues. On occasion your advice will not be taken, for good reason – it is not practical, there is an administrative solution to the issue, the process you recommend will simply take too long.... It can also occasionally be uncomfortable when your organisation is the subject of scrutiny from the media or other agencies, such as the Ombudsman or Auditor-General. But you can assist by providing material to educate and inform third parties about the role of your agency. Contrary to the views of some, you do need to work hard in the public service. Your client is ultimately careers guidebook 2012


the Minister, and Ministers need briefings and assistance in the preparation of correspondence, media releases, Parliamentary presentations, pre-meeting briefings, policy initiatives and the like. The people you regulate will have many queries, and you are called upon to resolve issues which have or may become crises for them or your organisation. So, to work successfully as a Government lawyer, you need to have or acquire along the way the following skills and abilities: t

:PVOFFEUPHFUUIFEFUBJMSJHIU CVUBMTPUP be able to see the big picture. So, you need to be a sound lawyer, but also to be able to analyse the policy, strategic and practical implications of your advice.


:PVNVTUFOKPZSFMBUJOHUPQFPQMFoZPVS clients will range from the person on the bottom rung of the organisation to a sophisticated and time-poor CEO or Chairperson.


:PVOFFEUPCFBCMFUPVTFTJNQMF CVUQSFDJTF language to communicate your advice to your laymen clients. You also have to have superior written skills. You must be concise. CEOs and Ministers do not have time to

read your lengthy and learned epistles. t

:PVOFFEUPCFBCMFUPBOBMZTFBTJUVBUJPO and break it down into the pertinent issues. There is no point in crossing your i’s and dotting your t’s in a piece of advice if you overlook the critical issue.


:PVNVTUCFBCMFUPSFBEJMZBTTJNJMBUFB volume of technical or specialist information and then identify and address the legal issues.


:PVOFFEUPFOKPZQSPCMFNTPMWJOH Lawyers in a government agency do not get anywhere by telling their client that they cannot do something – your client agency wants you to tell them how to achieve their objectives whilst staying within the law.

Above all, it is never dull. You are dealing with different people and bodies, with an enormous range of factual situations and legal areas, and each day is challenging. If you choose a career in Government law, you need to be responsive and committed to your role, but in turn you will derive much satisfaction from being involved in the making and implementation of public policy and from using your skills as part of a team.

Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office Alison O’Brien Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor I have spent my whole legal career at VGSO - from researcher to the Solicitor-General, articled clerk, solicitor and then later running a team and, most recently, a branch: the Government and Public Law Branch. What has kept me here is the nature of the work, the people and the capacity to influence. The VGSO is a mid-sized firm (about 140 lawyers) but with one client - which has many aspects. Like 60 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

other clients, it enters contracts, builds things, sues and is sued. Even in these matters, the scale and purpose of the State’s actions bring another dimension: the building can be a prison, and the contract can be for the provision of prison services - the human rights and public accountability aspects of such a project cannot be ignored. The State could be being sued for negligence - but the claim might raise difficult questions: do teachers have a respon-

sibility to supervise students on the way home from school? Does the State have a duty to warn people that a flood is coming, and is a radio announcement enough? The VGSO also deals with those aspects of the law that are only dealt with by the State. It brings prosecutions and conducts disciplinary proceedings FWFSZUIJOH GSPN EPDUPST UP BSDIJUFDUT  JU SFQSFsents State officers in court proceedings about the TVQFSWJTJPO PG TFSJPVT TFY PÄŒFOEFST JU BEWJTFT QPlice on the exercise of their powers. My particular area of practice - public law - involves the exercise and regulation of governmental powers: advising PO  BOE EFGFOEJOH  HPWFSONFOU EFDJTJPO NBLJOH defending - and disputing - the limits of State and $PNNPOXFBMUIQPXFSTFTUBCMJTIJOHBOEBQQFBSJOH before public inquiries. It can involve advising on the policy and legislative development process. It is often challenging and rarely repetitive.

Trainees at the VGSO are introduced to this practice and gain exposure to various areas of the law by completing three month rotations through four of our five branches: Government and Public Law, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Commercial, Property and Technology, Workplace Relations and Regulatory Compliance and Police. Trainees at VGSO are given a unique opportunity to commence their legal careers in an environment where the work they do has a tangible impact on the society in which they live and which has the capacity to effect large scale change. They do so in a supportive and collegiate environment in which they are supported to complete the necessary training to be admitted as a lawyer.

Office of Public Prosecutions (Vic)


EMILY ROSE BROADBEnT Principal Prosecutions The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) acts on behalf of the community to prepare and present cases of serious criminal offences. The OPP is the largest criminal law firm in Victoria and prosecutes cases in accordance with the instructions of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Solicitors for the OPP work in all courts across the Victorian jurisdiction, including the Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia, as well as the Children’s and Coroner Courts. With responsibility for prosecuting serious crime, the work undertaken includes offences such as: t .VSEFS t 4FYVBMPÄŒFODFT t %SVHUSBÄ?DLJOH t $PNQMFYAXIJUFDPMMBSDSJNF t $POÄ•TDBUJPOPGQSPDFFETPGDSJNF BOE t $PSSVQUJPOJOWPMWJOHQPMJDFPSMBXZFST

The head office of the OPP is at the heart of Melbourne’s court precinct, with a regional office based in Geelong. A key responsibility of the OPP is to facilitate the process of justice, by ensuring the delivery of a fair and efficient prosecution service to the people of Victoria. This is a significant responsibility, and one which guides the decisions and actions of each OPP solicitor and the OPP as a whole. The capacity to work in a team is an essential skill for a solicitor with the OPP. Although responsible for the preparation of individual cases, a collaborative approach by every solicitor is required to ensure effective and efficient prosecutions. Solicitors work closely with one another, to assist and support each other to balance the substantial and often competing careers guidebook 2012


priorities of various cases. The OPP is not an investigative agency, but rather act on the brief of evidence provided by Victoria Police. OPP solicitors work closely with experienced barristers and members of Victoria Police to compile the case, and determine the most effective method of prosecuting the case. A core goal of the OPP is to enhance responsiveness to victims of crime, and solicitors are in regular contact with those people who have been affected by the crimes we prosecute. The day-to-day work of a solicitor at the OPP varies enormously, and often changes at very short notice. Each solicitor is allocated cases to work on, encompassing a range of offences and varying levels of complexity. The sheer number of cases which are prosecuted by the office mean that the work is fastpaced, with time-management and multi-tasking skills quickly honed. Typical work of an OPP solicitor includes: t












A key task for every OPP solicitor is to consider, with respect to each charge, whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution and whether it is in the public interest to proceed. This requires an assessment of the material gathered during the police investigation, and is a responsibility which remains with the solicitor throughout the entire court process of the case. Given the multitude of court hearings prior to a criminal trial, the strength of the evidence can change markedly. An OPP solicitor must be attentive to the effect of those changes, and act accordingly. There are a number of stages in the court process, and it is part of the role of an OPP solicitor to ensure the cases are ready to proceed. This involves clarifying issues with defence counsel, coordinating witnesses and experts, and collating material which 62 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

may be of use to the court in determining the issues. Consultations with varying parties involved in the case are necessary, and often on-going throughout the court process. Clear communication skills, both oral and written, are essential. Court appearances to prosecute matters on behalf of the DPP are a regular occurrence. There is further opportunity to train as a solicitor-advocate with the OPP to refine and develop solicitors’ advocacy skills. Solicitors at the OPP are also responsible for preparing advice to the DPP, in response to requests from Victoria Police or members of the public to review the evidence of alleged offences. The OPP is often involved in law reform projects and consultations to inform and guide legislative developments in Victoria. There are opportunities to also be involved in internal policy development for the OPP, working closely with the DPP in furthering the best practice approach for prosecutions in Victoria. I am a Legal Trainee with the OPP, and am currently compiling final documentation for my admission to practice. I have spent the past 12 months working in 6 different practice areas of the OPP. I have been given the responsibility of my own case load, and opportunities to appear in the Magistrates’ and County Courts. I have assisted senior solicitors to prepare matters, and instructed the most senior Crown Prosecutors in Victoria. Whilst being given the experience of a junior solicitor at the OPP, throughout my Traineeship I have been supported and mentored to further develop my legal skills. My introduction to the practice of criminal law through a Legal Traineeship with the OPP has been comprehensive, challenging and rewarding. For those who are passionate about criminal law, have strong communication skills and highly developed legal research skills, a career with the OPP is an exciting opportunity to be part of a high-quality prosecution service.

At Herbert Geer, our aim is to put YOU at the centre of everything we do. We will support YOU with a dedicated supervising partner and mentor. YOU will be exposed to a wide variety of work. We offer YOU a range of benefits including subsidised gym memberships and our NOTLAW program. We will provide YOU with an in-house CLE program to help YOU learn, and YOU can become involved in our community and pro bono work.

To find out more visit 2011





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05. non-legal Careers

new perspectives WHAT OTHER CAREER PATHS CAn YOUnG LAWYERS FOLLOW AFTER A FEW YEARS In LEGAL PRACTICE? Are you feeling the three-year itch? It’s a term that has been bandied about for some time by lawyers in their second or third year, when they begin to realise that a career in the law may not be in their longterm plans. The itch might present as a slight anxiety when you fill in a timesheet, interpret legislation or are subject to micromanagement of your document discovery. It may rear its head over coffee with law school contemporaries, when discussing your desire to do something different becomes as common as discussing what you did on the weekend. After the excitement of your graduate year fades and law firm life takes hold, many young lawyers ask themselves, “Is this what I want to do forever? What else could I do?� Others start reflecting on what their passions and interests really are and how they could pursue them in the professional realm. However, just because you have landed a job that’s not for you does not mean that it is the end of the XPSMEćFMBXEFHSFFJTUIFOFXBSUTEFHSFFXJUI it you can do whatever you want to do. It can be daunting to consider change, let alone act upon it, but you are not alone in experiencing these feelings. Although there is no doubt it is difficult to leave the traditional legal roles behind, plenty of lawyers have found that there are roles out there that suit them better. Here, we explore some of the career paths such lawyers have followed. By talking to young lawyers who have taken up roles in government, communications, recruitment, academia and elsewhere, we hope to open your eyes to the other options that are available to you. In the following stories, we have profiled six lawyers who felt the itch and moved off the well-trodden road of private practice. Their advice provides help66 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

ful insight into many of the considerations that may guide you on your professional journey.

HUMAn RESOURCES Many lawyers contemplate career transitions, but finding alternative opportunities within the law firm they work at is rare. For Bryony McCormack, Allens Arthur Robinson provided the perfect opportunity to make the move from legal practice to human resources (HR). After rotating through the firm’s corporate/litigation and intellectual property departments, Bryony’s move away from practice came unexpectedly. She was seconded to the firm’s “people and development� section as a consultant responsible for graduate recruitment. Initially, Bryony viewed the secondment as an opportunity to learn what drove the business side of practice and see how Allens’ corporate services operated. She intended to return to law and reapply this knowledge, but her plans quickly changed. “I moved into the role, and completely fell in love with it,� she said. Bryony was later promoted to a management position overseeing Australian graduate recruitment. Her role continues to evolve and now includes providing internal employment policy advice and implementing community initiatives. Having worked in law and HR within the one firm, Bryony observes noticeable differences in working style, particularly how autonomy stands out in HR. “You’re not getting work delegated down the chain.

You are responsible for project managing what happens in your space,” she said. Bryony also enjoys opportunities to view the big picture and “come up with a strategy rather than just respond to a problem”. Bryony’s approach to career planning is to consider where she sees herself in the long term, and then what roles might help her get there. She points out that roles of interest can sit in different places in each organisation (such as in marketing, HR or business development), so you can gain mileage by focusing on the work you want, rather than just an appealing job title. Even if you enjoy practising law (as she did), Bryony stresses the importance of being open to other opportunities. “All along, my career has been formed by taking opportunities when they come up,” she said. Bryony’s willingness to take these chances has led to genuine professional diversity and fulfilment.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER Kristen Cook made the successful transition from lawyer to award-winning photographer and hasn’t looked back. She enjoyed public speaking, debating and theatre at school, but also had a passion for photography. Kristen obtained arts and law (honours) degrees from Monash University in 2003 and spent the following three-and-a-half years working as a property and finance lawyer at a Melbourne law firm. During this time she was thrilled to become pregnant. But when she went on maternity leave in 2007, Kristen had no idea that she would choose not to return. The joy Kristen experienced from her baby girl caused her interest in photography to sprout to a new level. Kristen became dedicated to capturing every moment of her daughter’s life in photos. After practice and study, she gained a reputation among her friends, their friends, and eventually the wider community, for her extraordinary ability to portray the raw beauty and emotion of the subjects in front of her camera. “There is something infinitely precious about being chosen by people to capture some of the most momentous events in their lives,” she said.

“I am connected to the honest, the pure, the exploration of tenderness and the simple beauty and a thenticity that come from human connection.” Kristen now runs a very successful wedding and baby photography business ( au). Already this year she has been named the Australian Institute of Professional Photography’s Victorian creative photographer of the year and was runner-up in the professional photographer of the year and portrait photographer of the year categories. She believes that the skills she learned as a lawyer were a huge factor contributing to her success, allowing her to pre-empt issues, see where problems might arise and figure out what she could do about them. Kristen’s advice to other young lawyers considering an alternative career is to find something that they are passionate about and that truly speaks to who they are as a person. “Don’t discount something merely because it has nothing to do with the law. You’ll find your skills and work experience to be far more valuable than you would ever realise,” she said.

THE EnTREPREnEUR With a Master of Arts in international relations from Yale, and a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne, Hugh Morley’s academic credentials are impressive. No stranger to transition, he worked in banking before joining the legal profession. However, he realised “thinking abstractly about the law is very different from day to day doing of the law, which wasn’t for me.” Having left a top-tier firm, he now co-owns La Belle Miette with his partner, Maylynn. The patisserie specialises in sumptuous macarons, with exotic flavours including pink grapefruit and cherry blossom with sake. When Hugh left the law he took time off to consider his next step, and read widely on entrepreneurship and career transitions, including Paul Graham’s essays “Why You Shouldn’t Have a Boss” and “How To Do What You Love”. careers guidebook 2012


When Maylynn proposed opening a patisserie, Hugh’s love of French language and cooking made “the prospect of building something cool together and not having a boss . . . very appealing�. Legal experience has proven an invaluable skill set in establishing the business, arming Hugh with the knowledge to navigate its legal complexities where possible. He now finds himself working harder but enjoying it NPSFFODPVOUFSJOHNPSFTUSFTTCVUĕOEJOHJUFBTJFS to manage. For Hugh, variety is the key distinction. “You have to do everything from design to financial modelling to cooking to managing employees, to working in the shop,� he said. Hugh describes leaving the law as a mixture of relief and “an almost paralysing level of anxiety�. However, a central part of the process was the effort he put into understanding his strengths and values. He now easily passes Graham’s test of whether people love what they do – whether they’d do it even if they weren’t paid for it and had to work at another job to make a living. Once you’ve tasted a macaron from La Belle Miette, you’ll understand why.

talking to senior lawyers in and around my firm, everywhere in fact,â€? she said. “I also bounced my ideas off friends and others who had gone down different paths. I think that it helped alleviate some of the apprehension.â€? For Genevieve, the major difference between law and policy advice has been that familiar catch-cry: work/life balance. But she makes it clear that it is still hard work. A*TUJMMIBWFBOPÄ?DFoUIBUTUIFTBNF CVUJUTBEJÄŒFSent working environment. Ai Group’s primary focus is to achieve outcomes that benefit our members, there isn’t the same billing pressure you find in a private law firm,â€? she said. “I probably work similar hours, but my working day is structured differently to accommodate my lifestyle. I have more flexibility to be able to have dinner at home, see family and friends.â€? Genevieve’s advice to other lawyers contemplating a similar career change is to sit down and think if you are ready and prepared to leave private practice behind. Then it’s a matter of acting decisively and asking frankly about what your skills can buy. You might be surprised.

THE POSTGRADUATE STUDEnT the policy adviser Genevieve Vaccaro grew up watching Ally McBeal and The Practice. However, after a short stint at a top-tier firm, Genevieve got the itch to change careers. She has ended up as a policy adviser in workplace relations at the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group). So how do you move to the forefront of industrial relations policy at one of Australia’s leading industry groups? According to Genevieve, you can start by searching the net. Simple enough, but how far can your skills get you? In Genevieve’s case, she phoned Ai Group and asked the tough questions directly, about what kind of work she would be doing and how it might differ from the work she was currently doing. Genevieve’s major apprehension was whether making the switch would limit later opportunities in private practice – “I never want to close the door to the possibility of returning� – so she devised a strategy to talk to as many people as possible. “I did a lot of 68 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

After investing five years in a University of Melbourne commerce/law degree and completing articles at a top-tier law firm, few lawyers would consider undertaking study in an entirely different field. This is especially true if the course is a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), which would involve another five years of full-time study. Tim Monaghan’s decision to sit the Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test just after he qualified as a lawyer was inspired by the desire to iOPUEJFXPOEFSJOHA8IBUJG w The 28-year-old first realised he might be interested in medicine during year 12, but beginning a medical degree straight after high school was not an option for him because he had not completed the pre-requisites. “I enjoyed my law degree and working at Freehills, but still really wanted to try being a doctor,� he said. “When I finally got into medicine, I was stressed

about making the change. There were a lot of factors to be weighed up . . . the length of the medical degree and training, how to survive financially while studying, and starting a new career when you’re older.� But these considerations did not deter Tim. He wanted his career to be more “people-oriented�, something that he found could be missing in corporate law, and to combine exciting practical medical work with the problem-solving and analytical skills he enjoyed in law. Maintaining these legal skills by continuing to work as a lawyer at Freehills on a casual basis while studying medicine is also essential as Tim hopes to combine the two fields some day. Tim is now halfway through his MBBS. He acknowledges it has been a lot of work but is happy he made the move. “Don’t be scared to have a go and realise you can always go back to being a lawyer,� he said. “Your working life is long, so try to do the things that you want to do. Even if you end up going back to the law, it would be with a new perspective.�

THE JOURnALIST From the get-go Anneli Knight was set up for corporate success. She studied commerce/law at the University of Melbourne while working part-time at Goldman Sachs JBWere, then commenced articles at Blake Dawson, where she settled into life as a highflying intellectual property lawyer. But Anneli could not ignore the pull she felt towards journalism – a career she had first considered in year 12. In her second year of practice, Anneli began a masters in journalism, which she said was hard because she spent “all my time working and studying�.

Another shared skill is the ability to “get to the heart of the issue quickly�, break it down and communicate it to an audience. Now a freelance journalist and writer, Anneli regularly writes for The Age and the SMH. She avoids suits where possible and is much more comfortable setting up a temporary home in the Kimberleys (or other destinations) from where she can file copy over the internet and interview interesting people over Skype. Anneli says anyone contemplating a career in journalism should: t  t  t


“Sometimes I think it’s not a career. Sometimes I think I should get a real job,� Anneli said. “You can self-direct your career. It definitely wouldn’t suit a lot of people . . . but I love it.� And pages always need to be filled. This article first appeared in the Winter/Spring 2011 edition of the Young Lawyers Journal (YLJ) published by the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) and reproduced with the permission of the LIV.

Halfway through her masters, Anneli quit law. She had saved enough to get by while building her freelancing portfolio and finishing her studies. Her hard work paid off when she landed a coveted traineeship at the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). Anneli identifies similarities between working for large law firms and newspapers – including late nights and working under extreme pressure. She says lawyers are suited to journalism because of crossovers between the professions including “a love of language�, knowing how to structure writing and a heightened attention to detail. careers guidebook 2012


The Boston Consulting Group phil barker Once upon a time, like you I ventured all the way back to the non-legal section of the LSS careers handbook. It’s a wonderful place. I encourage you to spend some time here. Since graduating from my Melbourne law degree, I’ve worked for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). I’ll outline just some of the reasons why I think it’s a fantastic place to work and somewhere you should seriously consider applying. 1. The work At BCG, we do genuinely interesting work. We tackle the big problems and challenges facing our clients, and create a lasting impact on their organisations, businesses and industries. BCG has expertise across industries from resources to government, media to private equity, and many more, and we work across disciplines from strategy to operations and IT to corporate development. Because we work on a project basis, in your early years at BCG, you’ll get exposure to a diverse range of industries and business problems. 2. The people BCG employs an incredibly varied mix of people. My starting cohort included a former Vice President of Macquarie, a Rhodes Scholar and a doctor. The diversity of backgrounds and the calibre of staff make BCG an extremely dynamic and interesting place to work. With many staff working on exchange and travelling, the office has a thriving social life. It also places great value on the growth and development of its staff and will help you to round out your skill set. BCG equips its staff to reach their full potential with a combination of targeted feedback and development strategies and also recognises and rewards those who perform well.

70 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

3. The opportunities One of the best things about BCG is that it offers a world of opportunities beyond the day-to-day consulting tasks in your home office. If you want to travel, BCG has more than 70 offices in 41 countries and helps staff go where they want to work. Should you wish to undertake further postgraduate studies, like an MBA, MPA or MPP, these are also considered by BCG. Many BCG staff are currently studying at the world’s top schools like Harvard and London Business School. If you want to do a secondment, BCG can work with you to help find the best possible placement. If you want to give back to the community, BCG has a comprehensive social impact agenda that ranges from partnering with a local disadvantaged school, to developing an economic recovery strategy for Marysville, pro-bono, after the Black Saturday bushfires. We are also a founding partner of Teach For Australia, and are now in the eleventh year of a partnership with Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships (IEP) supporting Cape York and other indigenous communities. I admit it took my mother a little while to come to terms with me not becoming a qualified lawyer, but we got there. She eventually accepted that working somewhere with consistently engaging work, diverse and interesting people and a world of opportunities more than makes up for the decision not to follow the well worn path into corporate law. I would encourage you to consider doing the same.

Governmental Advisory Jamie Driscoll In 1995 I started studying my Bachelor of Economics/Bachelor of Laws degrees at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. At the time, I remember most of my law classmates thought they would end up practising law when they left university (I distinctly remember a large number claiming they wished to end up working at Legal Aid or community legal centres – in fact, they were last seen joining tier 1 and tier 2 firms!). I also remember clearly in my first year reading the ANU Law Society’s alternative career handbook which opened my eyes to the potential of a career in public policy and the public service. Being a Canberra-based university, this was a key career path suggested in the handbook, and it seemed to me that since the mid-1990s the Australian Public Service had been employing more and more law graduates, considering this to be a strong skill-set used in the development of public policy. Although I was aiming for a career in the bureaucracy, I fell by accident into political advisory positions. During my studies I worked part-time for (former University of Melbourne law graduate and senior lecturer) the Hon Gareth Evans QC, the then Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Treasurer, in his Parliament House office. This led to a number of full-time positions for a variety of federal politicians, including two federal Opposition Leaders. In 2004 I moved into the Victorian state government as an adviser to the Hon John Brumby MP, with my final position being his economics director when he became premier. I left this role in 2009 – after more than a decade in politics – to take up opportunities in consulting. I am currently a consultant to Deloitte Access Economics and a boutique government advisory firm, The Agenda Group. In both of these roles I advise clients on how to work with government.

So how was my Law degree relevant to 10 years advising senior politicians and now advising clients about government? Working as a political adviser was a fast-paced, interesting and challenging role that you to quickly understand issues right across the relevant portfolio areas – which can be vast. For example, as the Victorian Premier’s economics director I needed to be across areas including infrastructure, state taxation, state budget policy, gaming, energy and resources and more. Political adviser roles are as interesting as they are busy. Advisers are important in assisting their ministers and the government to develop and implement their agenda for the state/country. They have a close relationship with their minister (or shadow minister) and are a trusted sounding board. They work closely with government departments, nongovernment organisations, employer associations, trade unions and various other stakeholder groups. Given the broad range of responsibilities, the work of political advisers tends to be high-level. While it does not generally extend to providing technical legal advice, a deep understanding of the state/ country’s legal framework, the role of parliament as chief law maker, and executive responsibility and accountability is extremely valuable for these positions. I found that my skills from studying law also helped me to think critically, structure arguments, and identify relevant contextual issues when providing advice on a particular matter. I have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, my career choices enormously and would encourage any law student interested in public policy and being part of developing a government’s agenda to consider using their skills in this field. careers guidebook 2012


Why I chose to Teach For Australia Saul Wakerman

Teach For Australia Associate “So, when the High Court hands down a judgement, they will provide particular reasons why they came to their decision. These reasons are then examined by courts lower in the hierarchy when they are faced with cases that have similar factual scenarios.” “What is precedent?” “Why do we have a court hierarchy?” “What is a hierarchy?” “Why do we even need it?” “Was Stevenson the one who put the snail in the bottle?” These are perfectly legitimate questions that were accompanied by an intense desire for an immediate response. Moreover, each was accordingly complemented with twenty four sets of eyes examining my slightest hesitation. Being an excellent teacher is not easy, nor mundane, in fact, it is immensely difficult and invigorating. Herein lies the attraction. After graduating from Media and Communications and Law at the University of Melbourne in 2010, I wanted to complete something that would make me very uncomfortable, and challenge me in a way that would force me to develop a range of skills that I felt the university experience had not seeded, let alone grown. On a personal level 72 Melbourne University Law Students’ Society

I believe that in any nation, especially one as wealthy as Australia, every person should have equal opportunity to succeed, starting with their educational journey. My interest in education manifested from observances, that in many circumstances, the law was acting like a flimsy band-aid when it came to some of the most pressing issues in Australian society. Many of these issues, such as destitute poverty and criminal recidivism, appeared to be uselessly addressed through our courts and the broad brush strokes of legislative manoeuvring. A thriving and enriching educational system seemed to present an obvious place to start. So, I decided to learn some more by throwing myself into the educational system of Victoria through the Teach For Australia program. Teach For Australia is best thought of as an apprenticeship in teaching. After a rigorous application process, associates are placed in a low socio-economic secondary school. For two years you work as a teacher, teaching subjects relevant to what you have previously studied at university, whilst simultaneously undertaking Masters level coursework with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

I did Teach For Australia to learn more about our education system, to learn more about the system that determines whether Australia thrives or dives in the future. On a more personal level, I wanted to develop some vital skills, quickly. In February 2011, after six weeks training, nine until nine each day, I found myself in front of a year nine geography class teaching my first double period. My hands were shaking, and I could not remember a single students’ name. I was casually asked, “Sir, is this your first time?”. Now one year later, the challenges have not diminished. However, they are fresh challenges. Although I feel comfortable speaking and instructing a full classroom, there are an infinite number of variables to consider when constructing the knowledge of a group of individuals. I am currently teaching three legal studies classes, exploring crimes against the person, the benefits of our bicameral parliamentary structure, and the factors that affect the success of a referendum.

The skills I am developing in the classroom are entirely applicable to any number of potential careers. The ability to manage a classroom, speak confidently and clearly in front of a group, and to construct an idea or an understanding in the mind of another, are all skills that could be adapted and utilised in a plethora of situations and occupations. Teach For Australia provide immense support throughout the two years and beyond. They provide you with training in leadership and supply you with networking opportunities in various sectors of education, business, and government. At the conclusion of the two year contract you can continue in teaching or move onto alternative paths enriched with first-hand memories and an understanding of the heart that fuels our towns, states, and country.

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