SPARKE HELMORE lawyer Anthony Tesvic employed 1980s rock to motivate support for his winning 2007 NSW Young Lawyers Golden Gavel speech last week.
Tesvic scored not only the adjudicator Justice Michael Kirby’s vote, but also the People’s Choice Award for his speech on the topic “I’ll sleep when I’m Dead — how to get ahead and succeed in the law”, which he presented at a breakfast at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel.
It was obvious to Tesvic that this was a topic inspired by 1980s rock, so he ran with a Bon Jovi theme and attributes his success to tapping into the public’s love for a decade too often derided.
“It’s surprising how many people have a fondness for the eighties in one way or another and I think that resonated with a lot of people,” he said.
One of 12 competitors, Tesvic told the audience that lawyers needed to be more like Bon Jovi in order to make it. To do this they required rules and advice, which happily Tesvic was able to impart.
Among his pearls of wisdom were gems such as “work/life balance is for pussies”, “success is just an excess of sucking” and “Be Patient — If you follow these rules diligently, after four years, three divorces, two illegitimate children, and one nervous breakdown, you might, just might, be on your way to being made … a senior associate”.
The audience loved it, despite the ungodly hour at which the event took place — as Tesvic observed: “I mean, look at us. Up and out of bed before 7am, on a Friday? No free booze in sight? What’s wrong with us?”.
Also a highlight at the proceedings was Justice Kirby’s canary yellow suit jacket; proof that not all lawyers wear black.
Next stop for Tesvic will be the national Golden Gavel competition in Tasmania in November. He plans to bask in his success, while contemplating his award (which is actually wooden, not golden as the competition name suggests).
“I might just keep it on my desk and bang it when people walk past to sound important,” he said.
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