find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Politics at play

Politics at play

The winners of the Government Award at the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards can handle the client and public scrutiny of their work.

The winners of the Government Award at the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards can handle the client and public scrutiny of their work.

Minter Ellison’s Mellissa Lai was one of the youngest winners on the night. The 26 year-old is with the national firm’s Canberra office, and her unflappable nature shone through when she said that while the “usual sorts of pressure apply” with regard to government work, it is important to keep things in perspective.

“The Canberra office is conscious of work-life balance,” said Mellissa, who has delivered training sessions to in-house counsel and is involved in Minters’ annual ‘Young Lawyers Hypothetical’ event. “You need to put the time in to get the work done, but there is no concept of ‘face time’ here. It is a pretty supportive environment.”

Julia Mansour, a senior adviser with the Petrol Sniffing Strategy Section, described Mellissa as being “very good at identifying and providing clear and considered advice on the consequential issues”.

Jin Ooi from Corrs Chambers Westgarth was praised for his focus on healthcare issues. “His focus on policy areas not in a strict legal framework is to be highly commended,” said the judges.

Jin is a trusted adviser to the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). He told Lawyers Weekly that he enjoys acting on matters that put the public interest at its core, both within his area of practice and in doing pro bono work.

Jin is the immediate-past Corrs team leader for the Homeless Persons’ Legal Services program.

“Lawyers in the big firms are a very privileged lot, so giving time for pro bono is one way lawyers can give back to the community,” he said.

Clayton Utz’s Eugene Tan is another lawyer who acts on his social conscience. Eugene impressed the judges with his combination of legal expertise working on high-profile matters, such as the Barangaroo project, and his entrepreneurship, as evidenced by founding the SecondCycle charity.

“Eugene has accomplished so much in his short career, combining a successful practice at a top-tier firm with outstanding pro bono and charity service,” said the judges. “He is an inspirational young lawyer.”

The other finalists in the inaugural Government category were the Minter Ellison duo Andrew Bass and Jane Woodward, from the firm’s Canberra office, and Eugene Tan’s colleague from Clayton Utz in Sydney, Kathryn McCormack.

GrainCorp Limited group general counsel Betty Ivanoff presented the winners with their trophies.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Politics at play
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...