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On The Right Track

On The Right Track

By Young Lawyers Journal

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Members of the YL executive committee outline their career progression.

Suzan Gencay
Law Reform Committee co-chair

Current role
Victoria Legal Aid lawyer

Former roles
St Kilda Legal Service community legal education/law reform lawyer, Harris Wake lawyer

Why did you take your current career path?
Volunteering in not-for-profits, community legal centres and legal aid as a student inspired me to work towards a career in social justice.

How did you develop the skills you need?
I always sought out new and interesting opportunities to work in social justice and take on leadership positions. I started volunteering with Amnesty International as a high school student and am now the vice-president of the Victorian branch committee. I also volunteered in community legal services, which taught me a range of important skills.

 

Milli Allan
Community Issues Committee co-chair

Current role
Victorian Government Solicitor's Office solicitor

Why did you take your current career path?
I wanted to pursue a role which involved working in the public interest and would allow me to work on interesting matters. I chose the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office as I knew it was uniquely placed to act in matters involving human rights, constitutional and administrative law, the areas of law in which I was most interested, as well as major public interest litigation. I also knew that its traineeship program, which involved rotating through a diverse mix of teams, would greatly develop my knowledge and legal skills.

How did you develop the skills you need?
While I was at university, I proactively tried to gain experience in relevant areas. I pursued opportunities based on my areas of interest, such as by completing an internship with the United States Congress, even though these did not necessarily fit within the traditional pathway to legal practice. I found that later, when I was applying for legal positions, employers were particularly interested in these experiences. I have also found that one opportunity often leads to another.

 

Linda Rayment
Immediate past president

Current role
HTRAC (The Human Trafficking Resource & Assistance Centre) CEO and co-founder

Former roles
Nicholes Family Lawyers associate

Why did you take your current career path?
Since commencing university, I have had a great desire and passion for helping the marginalised and vulnerable and in particular to help survivors of human trafficking and create legislative change. In 2014, I co-founded the Human Trafficking Taskforce. After it had gained significant momentum I left private practice and founded HTRAC formally as a registered charity.

How did you develop the skills you need?
Whether it is reading books, attending seminars or listening to podcasts, I always try to take notes of what I am learning and reflect on it afterwards to solidify my knowledge. I employed a leadership coach and also gleaned much insight and experience from mentors, peers and experts.

Regarding legal skills, I only had a general legal knowledge about human trafficking issues, so I had to upskill in specific areas of law by analysing various sections of Acts and regulations. I'm still learning.

 


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