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Gabrielle McManus, VGSO

Gabrielle McManus, VGSO

I completed a BA at Melbourne University in 2003, majoring in Criminology and Politics, and a diploma of modern languages (German) before going on to study law at Latrobe University. Study…

I completed a BA at Melbourne University in 2003, majoring in Criminology and Politics, and a diploma of modern languages (German) before going on to study law at Latrobe University.

Study afforded me fantastic opportunities to travel and work in interesting places. I studied Criminology and German Law in Freiburg, Germany, staying on to work as researcher at the Max Planck International Criminal Law Institute. After that, I worked as a paralegal in London before returning to Australia.

Back home, I completed internships at the Miwatj Legal Service in Nhulunbuy, North East Arnhem Land, which had me flying around in small aircrafts to attend circuit courts in extremely remote locations and at the Central Queensland Land Council Aboriginal Corporation. I attended native title meetings all over central Queensland.

At the end of my studies, I was fortunate enough to secure an articles position at the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office. Completing my articles here allowed me the opportunity to experience many different areas of law before setting my sights on litigation. As an articled clerk, you rotate through the administrative law, commercial and property, litigation and Victorian Police branches of the office, and may even be fortunate enough to squeeze in another one at a fellow Government entity (I did a rotation at the Office of Public Prosecution).

There's a quality of work in the VGSO which I wouldn't be exposed to in the private sector. Among other things, I have instructed in large inquests and Crimes Mental Impairment matters, I have supported senior lawyers in large-scale litigation and advised the State in many matters of statutory interpretation, which can touch upon some fascinating topics.

Because they are matters of State, they almost always feature as headline news in the papers, which makes reading the morning rags much more engaging! At the VGSO, I am given the responsibility of running my own files under supervision and am ever grateful for the freely available support and mentoring provided by my colleagues (absolutely essential in your first year).

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