Managing legal studies with community work and social gatherings is all about balance, according to the recipient of The College of Law- Law Student of the Year Award from this years' Lawyers WeeklyAwards.
In the past year, Ryan Harvey has found time to achieve a weighted average mark of 85 (high distinction); be a personal research assistant to a senior partner at Allens Arthur Robinson; represent Australia in the 2011 Commonwealth Moot Competition; preside over the Macquarie University Law Society; and backpack around Europe.
The commerce/law student of Macquarie University, who will graduate at the end of this yearsaid finding the time is easy, if the balance is right.
"It's easier to find the time and put in long hours here and there for a last minute assessment or a law society meeting, when you are willing to acknowledge the benefit of having a balanced healthy lifestyle," said Harvey.
Harvey works two days a week, studies the rest, meets up with friends, swims "pretty much everyday", does law society activities, and is careful "not to let one thing take over another."
He said being the President of his university law society last year was a highlight of his time as a law student.
"It gave me the opportunity to get to know what the students need, as well as the demands placed on the faculty by the university. It was a good position to experience all those different intersecting interests," he said.
With several awards already in his cabinet, including the Law Society of NSW Prize for Sustained Academic Proficiency, Harvey said he was honoured to hear that judges of the Lawyers Weekly Awards commended him as having "high aspirations" and a "wide variety of legal and community activities".
"It's immediately gratifying to be acknowledged for all those long hours spent away in the stu-vac bat cave and time locked away in law society meetings, said Harvey, who in 2009assisted the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG on a paper. In 2011, Harvey will be anassociate to the Honourable Justice John Dyson Heydon AC in the High Court of Australia.
"I'm looking forward to experiencing life in a higher court and behind the scenes; seeing how things are run and the process of litigation itself at Australia's highest judicial apex," said Harvey.
"On a deeper level it's humbling to win knowing the quality of the candidature this year and the type of students and their track records."
Competition for the Law Student of the Year Award was intense this year, with each of the finalist's demonstrating high-level involvement in academic and community life as well as passion and determination to make a mark on the legal profession.
University of New South Wales law student Courtney Young took out the judge's highly commended award while other finalists included Ben Bullock from Murdoch University, Alexandra Clare from Australian National University, Joanna Vincent from the University of Western Australia, and Monash University's Michael Zhou.