find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
WA indigenous students to be mentored in law

WA indigenous students to be mentored in law

Indigenous law students in Western Australia were last week paired off with members of the legal profession in an effort to provide for these students an opportunity to achieve the careers they…

Indigenous law students in Western Australia were last week paired off with members of the legal profession in an effort to provide for these students an opportunity to achieve the careers they dream of having.

Headed by executive director Alison Gaines, the Law Society of Western Australia has been working on a mentoring program that will provide one-on-one support with the aim of assisting law students from the University of Western Australia and Murdoch Law Schools to pursue a range of career options.

In an effort to get more Aboriginal lawyer advocates into all of Western Australia’s courts, the program was jump started by Judge Mary Anne Yeats of the District Court. Justice Yeats approached Gaines, asking her to extend the mentoring program already run by the Law Society with Women Lawyers of WA to support Aboriginal law graduates.

When the Law Society learned that WA law schools educate over 30 per cent of the country’s indigenous law graduates, it felt an obligation to ensure wide accessibility for these students to careers in the legal profession.

Magistrate Sue Gordon of the Children’s Court, the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to a Western Australian court, advised the Society to support law students before they graduate. The mentoring program is therefore available for law students in their penultimate and final years.

Every third and fourth year indigenous law student is now offered a trained mentor from the legal profession, including judges, barristers and solicitors, to help them navigate their way into careers. Seventeen students have expressed interest in the program, according to Gaines, and were last week assigned to mentors. The Law Society expects that about 20 to 30 students will become involved each year.

The response from students has been positive, according to Gaines, but the real test of the scheme’s worth will be the “quality of the mentoring relationship”. If students are not happy with the person with whom they are matched, the Society will work to find a more appropriate mentor.

Lawyers and judges have been enthusiastic about signing up for the program, Gaines said. There have been quite a few senior members of the legal profession interested and involved. So far about 60 members of the profession have been trained for different mentoring programs. “There has been no problem filling the mentoring positions,” Gaines said.

Eventually, the mentoring program will be open to indigenous students from other WA law schools, including the University of Notre Dame, which is opening a pre-law program in Broome that will eventually see indigenous students joining the law faculty on its Fremantle campus.

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

WA indigenous students to be mentored in law
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...