find the latest legal job
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Awards celebrate young talent

Awards celebrate young talent


This year’s Women in Law Awards placed young lawyers in the spotlight.

TressCox’s Elizabeth Aitken (pictured) won the Young Gun of the Year Award, presented by Leo Cussen, in recognition of her broader community work and commitment to social justice. 

“I didn’t really want to be a lawyer,” she told Lawyers Weekly at the black tie awards event in Melbourne last week.

"Not until my very last year of law school when I discovered that employment law was fascinating and that it would be a good idea to write 10,000 words on sexual harassment law.

“I think you find your practice area and that’s what draws you in.”

As the organiser of this year’s Victoria Women Lawyers mentoring program, Ms Aitken said giving advice to young lawyers “is sort of my speciality”.

“Some of the things we tried to encourage in young lawyers were to make as many connections as they can in the industry,” she said.

“Connecting as much as possible with practitioners who are in your area of interest is a fantastic idea in those early stages.”

The winner of the inaugural Academic of the Year Award, Cathryn Nolan from RMIT University, shared Ms Aitken’s passion for mentoring.

Her work has a large teaching component, but she has also just started a PhD focusing on how graduates should be trained in the future.

“We are very aware that the profession is being disrupted but we are teaching law exactly as I was taught it,” she said.

Ms Nolan empathised with the “overwhelming” expectations placed on law students. “The reality is there are more and more law graduates all the time, fewer and fewer jobs for them in the traditional sense, they need to think about their futures in a whole different way,” she said.

“So many people are so excited to get into law school in the first place – I know I was. The minute they get into law school suddenly they’re special. Suddenly their friends look at them differently. Their aunties and uncles think they are smarter than they ever were before.

“But actually they are still the same people and they still have that little voice in the back of their head thinking, ‘I’m faking it and somebody is going to catch me out one day’.”

She said being able to connect with students and guide them through the process of finding “their own beautiful life, their amazing career” is the most rewarding thing about teaching.

The awards also recognised Taylor Macdonald from Western Sydney University as the Law Student of the Year. Ms Macdonald is beginning the graduate program at King & Wood Mallesons in 2016.

The Senior Associate of the Year Award was granted to Elizabeth Hundt Russell from King & Wood Mallesons by International.

“As a mother returning to full-time work in a highly demanding transactional practice, within this field, she stands as a great example to other KWM women that you can do it,” her submission read.

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

Awards celebrate young talent
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 22 2017
Reduced investment protections will make robust commercial arbitration mechanisms all the more critical for investors
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the current trend away from investor protect...
Nov 22 2017
‘Document tsunami’ driving lawyers to upskill in TAR
A prominent Victorian judge has highlighted the growing need for lawyers to expand their knowledge o...
Defamation expert appointed to lead Victorian Bar
Nov 22 2017
Defamation expert appointed to lead Victorian Bar
The Victorian Bar has named Dr Matt Collins QC as its new president, with an additional eight member...
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 & ...