Wowee, 2016 has already been a massive year for me and it’s only half way done. I started my third year in a double degree of Laws/Commerce at USC in February and the ball started rolling from there.
I went to the Queensland Law Society Clerkship Information Day in March and began to think about where my degree could take me. A lot of my friends applied to firms for a clerkship opportunity over the summer. Something we were a little worried about was that we were coming from one of the newest law schools in the country and we were competing against students from the biggest, oldest schools for these precious workplace opportunities. But, turns out our trepidations were misplaced. USC does it differently. And different isn’t bad. In fact, in an industry that can be so stereotypically black and white, being different is advantageous!
Something I have always loved about the law degree here at USC is the practical focus. When I get asked about it, I say the USC Law degree focuses on making someone into a useful lawyer, someone who can be a great asset to their future firms. In my first semester as a law student, I did a placement at the Sunshine Coast Community Legal Centre where I worked with a client in a bankruptcy issue. The lawyer I was working with told me about the importance of good interviewing skills to be able to help your client and yourself to get to the issues quickly so you can deal with them efficiently.
I was lucky enough to be able to compete at this year’s Australian Law Student Association National Conference in the Client Interview competition. My teammate, Helen and I, secured 3rd place in Australia against 27 other universities! The binge- watching of Suits and Law & Order paid off.
The best thing I took from the competition was that USC’s law program is so practical, and we received a lot of compliments on our technique and how useful we were to our client.
In September this year, I will travel to New Delhi, India, to take part in the Herbert Smith Freehills/National Law University, New Delhi International Negotiation Competition. David Knobel and I won the USC LSA Negotiation Competition in May 2016 and USC jumped at the chance to send a team to this prestigious competition. We will be versing teams from the biggest law schools in the world such as Oxford, Harvard and Yale. It’s a little intimidating to think that I could be negotiating with (and hopefully beating) these teams, so early on in my legal career. But that’s why I chose the USC law degree; it has a strong focus on the law works outside uni and it gives me that practical edge. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
By, Callum Lee