Rachel Lee (pictured) is an extremely motivated law student with a deep-seated desire to help people.
The 22-year-old was the winner of The Law Student Award, proudly sponsored by The College of Law, but she was unable to attend the Awards ceremony.
This year’s Lawyers Weekly Law Awards were held in Sydney last Friday (8 August).
Speaking with Lawyers Weekly after the Awards, Rachel said she owes her success, in part, to her mentors who have helped her develop her skills.
“I was really grateful to be recognised,” she said.
Choosing a path
Rachel developed a passion for commercial law while working at boutique firm Leaker Partners.
“Mark Leaker has continued to be a really important mentor to me. He helped me develop a career direction,” she said.
Rachel also completed clerkships at Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, Ashurst, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Allens. She recently accepted a graduate position with HSF, which she will start in March 2015.
“I really loved my time at Freehills – I loved my time at all the firms. Freehills will offer me lots of fantastic opportunities to do secondments overseas and expose me to blue chip clients in Australia,” she said.
An international perspective
Rachel is currently completing honours in law as part of her Bachelor of Law/Arts (Politics and International Relations) at the University of Western Australia (UWA).
She attends university with a full scholarship and has maintained a distinction average in law throughout her degree. Her honours thesis focuses on the misapplication of child pornography laws to children under 18.
In July 2011 Rachel completed an intensive human rights unit in Geneva, Switzerland through Murdoch University. She has also studied at Boston College in the US and at Aarhus University in Denmark.
Rachel said she learned a great deal about international perspectives on the law and made friends all over the world during her travels.
“I definitely want to work for a firm that is going to give me the opportunity to travel and work in lots of different countries,” she said.
Rachel has demonstrated her leadership qualities while at university by acting as chair of the 98th Guild Council of Undergraduates and as UWA Blackstone Law Society’s inaugural Equity and Social Justice Vice President.
In her role with the Blackstone Law Society, Rachel developed a strategic plan for volunteering projects and consolidated agreements with community legal centres to create skill-building opportunities for law students.
Her efforts were recognised when she was awarded the Australian Law Student Association’s Community Award in 2012.
Rachel also connects people who are at risk of homelessness with relevant welfare services and engages in law reform projects as a member of the management committee of Street Law Inc.
The other finalists in this category were: Genevieve Woods from Salvos Legal, Brydon Wang from Allens Linklaters, Eliza Egan from Norwicki Carbone Lawyers, and Roxanne Hart and Tahlia Butler from MacDonnells Law.