Volume 4, Issue 12, (Originally Published on 21 October 2013)
While the Class of 2013’s Valedictory Dinner seemed to go smoothly, some took point with David Hastie’s Valedic¬tory Address. Reegan Grayson-Morison offers a rebuttal.
In the various bits and pieces I’ve writ¬ten, I’m sure it’s obvious that I’m a bit of a cynic and inherently critical of most everything around me. Following Dave’s speech, I thought it important that a counter-argument was presented with respect to his comments about the Law School. I do not believe that everything he said was representative of the views across our whole cohort.
Contrary to Dave’s comments, I do not think that it is only the LSS that as¬sists students in finding graduate jobs. I think that Dave’s scepticism of the support that the Law School and its staff give to students was ill-advised, brash and, I believe, unfounded, notwith¬standing the fact that many people who applauded him afterwards seemed to agree with his sentiments.
While I agree that the LSS does have various initiatives geared towards find¬ing a position with the top-tier law firms (unsurprising given that most of their funding comes from the firms them¬selves), the GLSA, the Later Law Stu¬dents Network and the Public Interest Law Network are also actively informing students about a variety of career paths in the law.
Being accepted as a student to the top law school in Australia does not guarantee you a graduate position – it is up to you to put in the work and earn your way into a top-tier firm, if that is the direction you desire.
I haven’t been happy with every mark I’ve received, and maybe I would have been happier if I’d had every top-tier HR person schmoozing me so I’d take a job with them, but life carries on. Blaming others for something so trifling has never helped anyone get very far unless you happen to be one of the Kardashians.
I empathise with those students who have yet to find a full-time, graduate position – I’m in the same boat myself. However, as an individual who has already had the experience of searching for a post-graduate position, following my initial degree, I can vouch for the fact that the Law School and its staff are categorically more supportive than those I had interactions back then.
The law school offers many opportuni¬ties for students to expand their skill set to prepare for the post-law job search: the mentor program, the Judge-in-Residence program, CV and application workshops, internship opportunities, wellbeing support, as well as organising speakers from academic, professional and governmental bodies to present to the students.
This is not to mention the personal mentoring that lecturers provide to their students and, in my personal experi¬ence, there is more than one member of teaching staff who has actively engaged with us.
For this, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the hard-working, dedicated staff of the Law School, as well as to all of the student groups who work hard to support students in what¬ever path they take in law – your efforts certainly should not go unrecognised.