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Marrying lawyers and humour


Cite as: October 2009 83(10) LIJ, p14

Cup and saucer, salt and pepper . . . lawyers and humour? The latter pair are often thought to be mutually exclusive, but not in the case of the inaugural Victorian Golden Gavel competition.

The competition, where entrants are judged on their humour, cleverness and originality, was won by Allens Arthur Robinson lawyer Lachlan Clancy.

What's more, he won the state title after speaking for five minutes on the topic, "Marry me, I'm a lawyer".

Young Lawyers' Section manager Anna Alexander said the Victorian competition, held on 13 August, had been an entertaining evening.

"The speakers were excellent and the audience very much enjoyed the event. It was a great opportunity for graduates, trainees and young lawyers to exercise and improve their public speaking skill.

"We intend to continue to hold state competitions," Ms Alexander said.

The judges were Victorian Supreme Court Justice Betty King, magistrate Stella Stuthridge and LIV president Danny Barlow.

They were looking for humour (worth 40 per cent of the marks), cleverness (worth 30 per cent) and originality (also worth 30 per cent).

Second was Australian Government Solicitor's Office solicitor Taboka Finn with "10 things you should never twitter", and third was Blake Dawson solicitor Florence Riviere with "Why my firm should/shouldn't conduct its own reality TV show".

The other speakers and topics were: Freehills solicitor Lachlan Harrison-Smith, "Godwin Grech's guide to email correspondence and why we should think twice before pressing send"; Mallesons Stephen Jaques solicitor Luke Stanistreet, "CVs: necessary fictional inclusions to gain a competitive edge"; Clayton Utz solicitor James Neil, "Barristers - without solicitors they're really just fluff and stuffing"; and AAMI trainee Sarah Curtain, "Reasons to be nice to the cleaner, secretaries, the office security guard and other support staff".

The Golden Gavel is a national public speaking competition. At the time of writing, Mr Clancy was expected to take part in the National Golden Gavel Champion, which was to be held in Perth on 18 September.


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