Legal studies students from Gold Coast High Schools have been demonstrating their legal nous through an essay competition run by the Griffith Law School (GLS) and local firm Short Punch Greatorix (SPG).

Open to all high school students on the Gold Coast, the legal essay competition invited students to submit one of their school essays for the chance of winning great prizes.

GLS Dean Paula Baron said the entries this year were very topical.

“All entries were of a high standard, and very impressive. Entries covered a range of issues from research ethics and human rights to media ownership and WorkChoices.”

Taking out first place and a $500 prize was Somerset College student Katherine Mansted with her essay on Advocates’ Immunity.

First runner up was Joseá Polong from Hillcrest Christian College with an essay on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and second runner up was King’s Christian College’s Jessica Bevitt, who discussed Battered Spouse Syndrome: A Possible Murder Defence.

Somerset College were also awarded an $800 prize for the best school contribution.

SPG spokesperson Ian Alderdice said the firm had been involved with the competition for the past 12 years to encourage school leavers to enter into a legal career.

“As usual the standard of entries was above the norm expected of school students, and certainly the standard of a first year law student,” Mr Alderdice said.

“The winner of the competition stood out from the other entries. Katherine even gave an impromptu snapshot of her essay at the awards night.

“Her capacity for public speaking showed Katherine would make an exceptional law student if she decided to follow her legal interest.”

The legal essay competition is run annually.