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     KOT MONOAH

“Having lived through civil war and unrest, I’ve learnt to see the difference between the rule of law and the rule of men.”

I am a lawyer at Slater and Gordon, specializing in personal injury law and a community leader at South Sudanese Community Association.

My path to law is a long journey. I came here thirteen years ago, aged 21.

I was born in South Sudan and my family became internally displaced during the civil war. We first moved to Ethiopia, and then to Kenya, where we lived for twelve years at the Kenyan Outback Refugee Camp of Kakuma. Eventually, we were accepted into Australia as refugees. So a total of 18 years of my whole life I was displaced as a refugee. Continue reading

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     CANDICE TAN

“I  think that lawyers, by nature, are incredibly driven. This can be a blessing and a curse.”

I am currently a Judge’s Associate at the Supreme Court of Victoria. Just a few months ago, I was a lawyer ‘in-between’ jobs.

As a child, I had always been interested in literature and the humanities. It was pretty usual to find me with my nose between a book, typically Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. I progressed on to Jane Eyre at the ripe-young age of 11. How I dealt with the heavy content in that novel is anyone’s guess!

In terms of my background – I was born in Singapore and moved to Melbourne for high school at 12. My parents were set on giving me an all-rounded education (other than through rote learning) and Australia was the perfect choice. They valued education above all else, as they never had the opportunity to attend university themselves. Continue reading

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     NOAM GREENBERGER

“I think that philosophically people should understand the legal system that is governing them.”

I am a Practice Leader in the Disputes & Litigation team at LegalVision.

I wouldn’t say that I always knew that I would be a lawyer because that wouldn’t be true.

After finishing school, I went to Israel to study in a Jewish learning institution for a couple of years. I am Jewish, but having never seen the country, I was interested in finding out about it. I really enjoyed it, and studied Jewish texts and law while there. Continue reading

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     VIRGINIA WARREN

“We’re a depressed lot, lawyers.”  

I am a partner in a general legal practice on the Mornington Peninsula. I’m also a registered yoga teacher and a writer.

In my law practice, I primarily work in the areas of family law, commercial law, wills and estates. The work is varied and addresses the community needs. Working in a smaller practice, offers greater lifestyle benefits than that of our city colleagues.

I discovered yoga accidentally in the literal sense and I will now also say that I accidentally became a lawyer. Continue reading

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     IAN FRECKELTON

 

“The life of a barrister is, and should be, a passionate and accountable life.”

I am a barrister, a Queen’s Counsel, working from Melbourne but doing cases throughout Australia. And ‘by night’ I am a Professorial Fellow of Law and Psychiatry – a Professor – at the University of Melbourne.

Two subjects that have fascinated me since the time I was at school have been law and medicine. When I studied at the University of Sydney in the late 1970s and 1980s, I did a combined Arts/Law degree. However, I decided to transfer to medicine at the  end of first year, along with a good friend of mine.  I was none too inspired by my first law subject.

All the arrangements were made, and then my friend was killed by a truck. Continue reading

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     DONALD GORDON

“I recall a very interesting case where a funeral parlour was being operated from a home.”

I am a senior instructor and course leader for legal practice at Victoria University, director on a Victorian government board, law author and run my own law firm.

I was born in Fiji. My father grew up in a very poor rural farming community, he was very studious and bright, which saw him cross the ocean by boat to England, where he studied to be a lawyer through London University and the Middle Temple. He instilled in me the value of education and hard work.

Tragically my father passed away a few days before my tenth birthday in Fiji. Continue reading

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   MATTHEW KARAKOULAKIS

“My wife is Brazilian, my father is Greek, and my mother is Aboriginal.”

I am the principal solicitor at my firm AMK Law.

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer from an early age. I was drawn to it because of the influence I believed lawyers wielded, and their ability to prevent others from being pushed around. I liked the idea of being able to take a strong stand and defend my views.

After high school I did a double degree at Flinders University – Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice & Bachelor of Commerce. As part of my university study, I had to get my Practical Legal Training (PLT) done. This is a final step that teaches law students the practical side of working in law: dealing with clients, business aspects, administration and record keeping requirements. Continue reading

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     KARA BRAMHAM

“You have to prove yourself as a young lawyer. You have to show that you’re not overly emotionally involved, that you’re tough and you’re switched on.”

I am a lawyer.

My dad is a lawyer, so I’ve always been fascinated with his work. I loved legal studies at school, so after high school I went straight into law at Deakin University to follow in my dad’s footsteps. I did a double degree in Commerce and Law, which was great for me, as the Commerce aspect broke up the tediousness of the law subjects.

Studying law was a lot tougher than I imagined;  memorizing cases and learning how to apply principles in case law and sections within legislation to facts. Continue reading

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     LACHLAN O’BRIEN

“When it comes to application time, people go into a frenzy, pumping out dozens of resumes and applications.”

I am a first-year lawyer at Hunt & Hunt Lawyers.

Even though I grew up around law, with my father and some other family being lawyers, I wasn’t 100% set on law as a kid. But I started doing Legal Studies in year 11, which got me hooked. Law controls so much of our lives, if you think about it: it governs the way people interact, how business is run – even how the country is run.

Because I didn’t have the marks to get straight into a Law degree, I decided to do a Bachelor of Legal Studies at Latrobe. It’s related to law, but more as a sociological study of law, which I thought would be interesting. Continue reading

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     SIMON SPINA

“You have to be fast, you don’t want to be the one causing a hold up.”

I am a concrete patcher.

When I left school, I wanted to do forensic science. But at the time, I was under the impression that forensics was only done by the police and that they didn’t have a lot of spots to take people in, so it was hard to get into. I kind of missed that opportunity.

Instead, I started a diploma in electronics and did it for a year. I liked electronics, but this was geared towards TV repairs, which wasn’t really what I wanted to do, so I didn’t end up finishing. Continue reading