At University I completed a BA and LLB at Monash University and completed an exchange at Uppsala University for a semester. I was attracted to Leo Cussen because I was unsure of what area of Law I wanted to practice in and I wanted to gain insight into all aspects of Law. I knew that I could not do this through a ‘traditional’ article clerk position and the ‘current matters’ were a great way to get into the different areas of practice.
I didn’t have any ‘legal’ connections when I started the course and knowing that Leo Cussen organised the professional placement for you was of great comfort (for the onsite course). Further, having been a student for so many years and juggling part time work, I felt that Leo Cussen would be a great training ground for getting used to being in an office environment from Monday–Friday.
During my training at Leo Cussen, I really enjoyed the advocacy and criminal areas of training. I met some tremendous instructors who I will still call for advice and they are more than happy to give me that advice. I also enjoyed the social aspect of Leo Cussen, I have great friends that I have met from my course and still remain in contact with them. My professional placement that they arranged for me at North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) in Darwin was the cherry on top!
I am currently working as a Lawyer at Youthlaw and was previously employed as a Criminal Solicitor at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) for three and a half years. I provide advice and representation for young people in criminal and other matters in the Magistrates’ and Children’s Court. During my time at VALS, I regularly travelled to regional areas of Victoria being the Aboriginal Legal representative for the local community.
I am constantly learning about different areas of the criminal law and how to engage with people from clients to prosecutors to magistrates. I thoroughly enjoy appearing at court and developing my advocacy skills. Youth law provides a ‘holistic’ style approach with our clients and we are able to link them into services which is of great benefit to the clients. Being able to help a client navigate their way through the system with tailored support is rewarding. We have a very collegial environment and there is always support for new lawyers. My job is constantly challenging and surprising – no day is ever the same – and that is fantastic!
Leo Cussen gave me the training and confidence that I needed to know that I could practice law and be effective in this role. Being able to apply all the legal knowledge you have gained in a practical way was tremendous.