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Ideas for Careers - Law Reform and Policy

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Ideas for Careers - Law Reform and Policy

Date & TimeTBC
Format Social & Networking





CPD Units NA
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How can you put all that you’ve learned as a law student, graduate or new lawyer into context? The Ideas for Careers series has been developed for just that purpose.

Focusing on law reform and policy, this session will give you a taste of what everyday working life is like in this area. 

Further details below.

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Further Details

  • Full Description

    Full Description

    How can you put all that you’ve learned as a law student, graduate or new lawyer into context? The Ideas for Careers series has been developed for just that purpose.

    Focusing on law reform and policy, this session will give you a taste of what everyday working life is like in this area. Discover how your skills might fit within law reform and policy, ask questions and meet lawyers working in various law reform and policy careers.

    After the panel discussion, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss and resolve a law reform case study in an interactive session with our panellists, and break up into small groups to hear about the benefits and challenges of pursuing a career in this area.

    Attendees will also receive a free information guide on how to engage in law reform, prepared by the LIV Young Lawyers Law Reform Committee


    In this seminar, you will have the opportunity to listen to a panel of three professionals discuss:

    • what a career in law reform and policy involves
    • the various career opportunities in this sector
    • how to engage in law reform opportunities
    • career progression and more


    The Hon. Marcia Neave AO, former chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and former judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria

    The Hon. Marcia Neave AO has had a career as a judge, lawyer, academic and public policy maker.

    From February 2015 to March 2016 Ms Neave was the chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. That Royal Commission was entrusted with the task of making recommendations regarding the family violence support system and justice system in Victoria, including government and non-government organisations, courts, police, corrections and child protection. The Commission’s report, and its 227 recommendations were provided to the Victorian government 29 March 2016. Prior to her role as commissioner, she was a justice of the Court of Appeal Division in the Supreme Court of Victoria. Ms Neave was a legal academic for many years, and held chairs at Adelaide University, Monash University and the Australian National University. In 2006 Ms Neave became the first academic in Victoria’s history to be appointed to the Court of Appeal.

    Throughout her career, Ms Neave has been a passionate advocate for women in law and how the law responds to women’s needs. In the early 1980’s she took leave from university and became research director and a part-time commissioner at the NSW Law Reform Commission, which, among other things, examined property division and support after the breakdown of de facto relationships. In 1985 she chaired the Victorian Inquiry into Prostitution, which recommended decriminalisation of prostitution, removal of most sanctions against prostitutes and the use of planning controls to control the locations of brothels. 

    Ms Neave was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her service to the law in 1999, and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001.

  • Presenters

    Lucy Adams, Manager and Principal Lawyer – Homeless Law, Justice Connect

    Lucy Adams is the manager and principal lawyer of Justice Connect Homeless Law, a specialist legal service for Victorians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In 2013, Lucy undertook a Churchill Fellowship, travelling to nine international cities and speaking with 60 experts about homelessness and the regulation of public space. Her work with Homeless Law is focused on preventing homelessness and reducing the negative impact of the law on people experiencing homelessness. In 2016 she won the Law Institute of Victoria’s Community Lawyer of the Year award.

    Jessie Taylor, President, Liberty Victoria

    Jessie Taylor BA(Hons) LLB(Hons) MSc(HA) is a lawyer working in the community sector, and a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. She is the current president of Liberty Victoria, and previously sat on the board of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

    Immediately prior to signing the roll of counsel in 2011, Jessie worked as a duty lawyer (crime) at Victoria Legal Aid. In 2010 she was associate to Justice Bromberg in the Federal Court of Australia, working in administrative law, occupational health and safety, trade practices, Commonwealth entitlements, WorkCover, equal opportunity and human rights, intellectual property, employment and migration.

    In 2009 Jessie was contracted by the Federal Attorney-General's Department as a researcher and writer on the National Human Rights Consultation.

    Jessie was chair of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Refugee Law Reform Committee and sat on the Executive Committee of the LIV Administrative and Human Rights Law section (2009-2010). She was a visiting fellow at the Australian Human Rights Centre and an honorary research fellow at the Monash Asia Institute. She has worked as a researcher in the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, and as a tutor in the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme. 

    In 2005 she attended the closing session of the UN Commission on Human Rights as an intern with the Australian delegation.

    Jessie has worked in community development at Springvale Monash Legal Service, and participated in their general law clinic, as well as the joint clinical legal service with the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault, assisting victims of sexual assault to obtain Victims of Crime compensation.

    Jessie is the author of the report Behind Australian Doors: Examining the Conditions of Detention of Asylum Seekers in Indonesia. She is co-writer and producer of the films We Will Be Remembered For This (2007) and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (2011).

    Jessie is a sought-after writer, speaker and commentator on human rights and refugee issues.

    Meghan Fitzgerald, Manager of Social Action – Policy and Law Reform, Fitzroy Legal Service

    Meghan is the manager of social action, policy and law reform at Fitzroy Legal Service and has been employed there for almost 10 years.

    Her core work is strategic litigation, policy submissions, oversight of community legal education/community development activities, as well as overarching management of the Fitzroy Legal Service legal practice. Fitzroy Legal Service has strong partnerships with the health and harm reduction community sector through its legal practice and other work. Some of the important cases Meghan has been a part of include the Barwon Prison case, East West Link case, Occupy Melbourne case and Doctors for Refugees case which launched a High Court challenge to the controversial Border Force Act.  

    Meghan has previously been on the board of the Yarra Drug and Health Forum, Harm Reduction Victoria, and supported the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League in the development of community legal education materials.

    In 2016 Meghan won the Tim McCoy Award which recognises the work of individuals, groups or organisations within the community law or legal aid movement.

  • Venue

    LIV Lecture Theatre, 470 Bourke St, Melbourne