Acting Senior Lawyer | Crown Law Queensland
What did you like about QLS and the Clerk position?
My first contact with QLS, and indeed with Stafford Shepherd, was through the QUT Advanced Legal Clinic Program. I was placed with the QLS Ethics and PracticeCentre for a semester, which I enjoyed immensely. Throughout my placement I was given research tasks and provided with the opportunity to observe and assist in external CPD presentations.
As good fortune would have it, following the completion of my QUT clinical placement, I was subsequently offered a temporary administrative position within the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre. I later accepted an ethics clerk position under Stafford’s supervision and guidance. I loved the exposure to what was previously an unknown plethora of professional and ethical conundrums. Some of these were more nuanced then others, but from that I gained an understanding of looking at both the big and the little picture. I also loved how supportive, knowledgeable and encouraging Stafford and QLS were of me. Stafford essentially gave me my very first job as a part of the legal profession, and for that I will be forever thankful. I am pleased and proud to say that Stafford is still a very dear mentor of mine, and certainly an important role model to me as my career continues to progress.
During my time at QLS I was also able to engage with the senior practitioners and staff who were also more than willing to share their knowledge and experience with me, which was simply invaluable.
What did you get out of it?
Throughout my time at QLS, I gained an appreciation of the nuts, bolts and realities of practising law. I realised that ethical dilemmas are unfortunately more common than tertiary students are generally able to appreciate, and that the existence of support networks and educational resources is vital to the proper and efficient function of the legal profession. I was also fortunate to have gained a lot of experience in research, legal writing and verbal communication skills, all of which put me in good stead for my subsequent positions as a judge’s associate, a solicitor in private practice and most recently as a government legal officer.
What opportunities and network exposure did it provide you?
Stafford provided me with many valuable lessons and opportunities throughout my time at QLS. For example, I was encouraged to participate in the Modern Advocate Lecture Series (an event which I still fondly attend) and to grasp each opportunity as a chance to further my professional and personal development, generally. I wrote discipline updates, research memoranda and a variety of general correspondence. I also become involved in the research, development and delivery of CPD presentations, which allowed me to get an understanding of the work environment and demographic of various firms, organisations and tertiary institutions.
Why would you recommend QLS to other law students or to graduates to participate in our graduate program?
I cannot thank QLS, the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre and Stafford Shepherd enough for all it provided me with. I would highly recommend students and graduates take the opportunity to engage with QLS as early as possible, be it through the graduate program or through one of their learning and development initiatives. The networking, learning, personal and professional development available from the QLS, its staff and its programs is nothing short of exceptional.