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All in the family


News

Cite as: (2009) 83(04) LIJ, p.28


A country Lawyer stands united with his daughter in Law.

There was an eight year pause between when country Lawyer Dean Cinque suggested in 1996 to his daughter Michelle that she follow him into the profession and when she committed herself to do it.

In that time, Ms Cinque moved from Ballarat to Melbourne, graduated from RMIT with an applied science degree and worked in a medical publishing house.

Come 2004 and seeking a change, she enrolled in Law at Deakin University before graduating from Latrobe University.

To complete the transformation, the 31-year-old returned to Ballarat in January this year to undertake her supervised workplace training at her father’s firm Cinque Oakley Senior.

Ms Cinque said both moving back in with her parents and into the Law had been an interesting experience.

But now she is back under his wing, a proud Mr Cinque tentatively speaks of a long-abandoned hope that one of his three daughters would one day take over the family business.

Kathy, 33, became an environmental engineer with Melbourne Water and 28-year-old Beth is a married stay-at-home mum.

“When Michelle said she was going into Law I was delighted beyond words and very emotional. I am not sure if I was surprised, relieved or startled but I was chuffed at the thought of it,” Mr Cinque said.

He said he also hopes his daughter will experience the joy of “seeing a smile on a client’s face when you have been able to do something that helps them”.

Mr Cinque’s family emigrated from Italy in 1956 and eventually settled in shared accommodation in the Melbourne suburb of North Fitzroy.

In 1964 Mr Cinque was forced to leave school as a 16-year-old as his parents could no longer afford to send him.

He immediately gained employment in the accounts department of the Dunlop tyre company before undertaking studies to work in the insurance industry.

And while enjoying the work, Mr Cinque soon tired of the occupation and studied Law as a mature-aged student.

He moved to Ballarat fresh from university in 1976, “for a quieter existence away from the rat race” of Melbourne and worked as a legal executive before opening his own firm in 1984.

And from inauspicious beginnings that saw him share office space and a waiting room with a local dentist, Mr Cinque soon moved into a new building before opening satellite Law offices in nearby Buninyong and further afield in Melbourne with younger brother Anthony.

He has since wound back the size of the firm but still employs four Lawyers and 10 support staff.

“Ballarat is a pleasant place and I never looked back, I had found my niche,” Mr Cinque, who has woven himself into the fabric of the area after becoming heavily involved in local community and sporting groups, said.

Ms Cinque, who also enrolled in the Law as a mature-aged student, told the LIJ the variety of legal work, especially child protection and the courts, “keep things really interesting”.

“I was happy when I was accepted into Law and I like that there is such a variety of work at this firm,” she said.

Jason Gregory

Surveying the land

Rural, regional and remote (RRR) Lawyers should have received a Law Council of Australia (LCA) survey designed to obtain information and opinions on a range of matters including legal aid work and retirement and succession planning.

The results will feed into an LCA Working Group established in mid-2008 to examine the problem of recruitment and retention facing legal practitioners in RRR areas.

The working group is currently examining the most effective strategies to attract practitioners to RRR areas and how best to retain them in these communities on a long-term basis.

The LCA said research found there was a massive shortage of Lawyers in RRR areas and that the numbers of legal professionals working in country Australia were continuing to decline.

LIV president Danny Barlow, who co-chairs the LCA Working Group, said the LIV was pleased to have worked closely with the LCA on the survey and to be associated with a project of national importance to the profession.

“It is not very often that regional Victoria becomes the focus of a significant national project and in order for us to take the benefit from that we need proper information to help alleviate some of the issues,” Mr Barlow said.

Law societies in each state and territory were due to distribute the survey to Lawyers working in RRR areas in early March.

For further information or a copy of the survey, visit http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au.

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