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Hearsay ... the electronic journal of the Bar Association of Queensland - The Inaugural Barristers Work Experience Programme

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Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland

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The Inaugural Barristers Work Experience Programme
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Print E-mail

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uq_intro.jpgThroughout August and September twelve law students from the University of Queensland will each undertake forty hours of work experience with a Brisbane based barrister or chambers. These placements have been coordinated as part of the inaugural Barristers Work Experience Programme (BWEP), a joint initiative of the Bar Association of Queensland (BAQ) and the University of Queensland Law Society (UQLS).

Over one hundred UQ law students applied to undertake a work experience placement as part of the BWEP. Of these, thirty were shortlisted for an interview. The final twelve were selected as high achieving well-rounded students eager to experience life at the bar and were then carefully matched with one of the participating barristers or chambers.

The following list is of the barristers and/or chambers, including four Senior Counsels, and the student(s) they have generously undertaken to provide a work experience placement to through the BWEP:

    greg_smart.jpg
  • A. Brian Balzamo (Level 14 Inns of Court) & Chrysa Samios
  • Ken Barlow S.C. (30 West Chambers) & Joshua Lee
  • Matthew Black (Quay 11 Chambers) & Grace Devereaux
  • Sandy Horneman-Wren S.C. (Level 19 Inns of Court) & Zac Worrall
  • John McKenna S.C. and Dominic O’Sullivan (Levels 16 & 17 Quay Central Chambers) & Stephanie Colquhoun and Mikhara Ramsing
  • Richard Lynch (More Chambers) & Kerrie Hales and Charles Martin
  • Daniel Morgan (Level 27 East Chambers) & Claire Hockin
  • Greg Smart (Sir Harry Gibbs Chambers) & Anthony Gardner
  • Michael Stewart S.C. and Dominic Pyle (Gerard Brennan Chambers) & Claire Morris and Alex James

It is anticipated that for their forty hours of work experience these students will undertake legal research and administrative tasks, as well as shadow their barrister to court and meetings. It is hoped that this experience will develop the legal skills of participating students and provide them an invaluable insight into a career at the bar.

The vision of BWEP is to begin a welcome and much awaited relationship between two legal institutions – the bar and the law school – that will see the more exceptional law graduates distinguishing themselves for a career at the bar. For too long Eagle Street has actively solicited the interest of law students, while North Quay has remained shrouded in mystery knowable only to those lucky few students with barristers as family members or friends.

michael_stewart.jpgCommercially motivated law firms sponsor university law societies in order to develop their presence on campus, as well as running clerkship programmes to capture the intrigue of the best and brightest law students. Cumulatively, by educating students and providing them opportunities alongside solicitors, these endeavours have created a relationship between law firms and law students that cause students to aspire toward a career as a solicitor with a view to becoming a partner of a renowned law firm.

The vision of the BWEP is to see such a relationship develop between law students and barristers. A relationship in which students are educated about what barristers do and how to become one, a relationship in which students are provided opportunities to experience life in chambers and court, which is a relationship that will see students aspire to a career at the bar.

Accordingly the BWEP is designed to nurture the enthusiasm of high achieving and well rounded students and to do so at a pivotal point in their degree. The BWEP will not only facilitate students learning what steps are necessary for them to become a barrister, such as postgraduate study, associateships and/or working in litigation, but will also energise them to take these steps and forge their path to the bar.

While attracting exceptional law students is a business strategy for law firms, for the bar and in fact the bench it is the only way to ensure continued prestige and legitimacy. We need brilliant students to become barristers and serve as advocates, advisers and more importantly to enable the bar to supply the next generation of judges. Accordingly it is imperative that the bar promote itself and be accessible to law students through initiatives such as the BWEP.

In 2011 the BWEP is a pilot initiative, but with a view to benefiting many more law students and ultimately the bar, the UQLS looks forward to the support of barristers and chamber groups as it works with the BAQ to develop this programme into the future. It is anticipated that the programme will be grown until it is of sufficient capacity to support law students from other Queensland universities.

uqls.gifThe UQLS sincerely appreciates the time and energy each of the barristers involved will be giving over the next two months to mentor their student, and open their eyes to the world of chambers and court. The UQLS would like to specifically thank Helene Breene and Celeste Baker of the BAQ, and Dominic O’Sullivan from Quay Central 16 & 17 chambers, for their tireless support of the BWEP.

If you would like more information on the BWEP, or wish to communicate your interest in participating in the 2012 BWEP, please feel free to contact Michelle Delport by email at m.delport@uqls.com

Michelle Delport

Vice-President (Professional Sponsorship & Careers)

University of Queensland Law Society

 

Photo: UQ Steele Building and The Great Court by Gaz



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