Griffith law graduate Kate Levitt has leaped straight from the classroom to the courtroom.
The 22-year-old from south Brisbane, who graduated with honours in December with a degree in law, has seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after starting an associateship at a Gold Coast court.
The highly sought-after 12-month position gives Kate an unprecedented platform on which to build her career.
“It’s an amazing chance to learn and understand how litigation works, how judges interpret evidence and what goes into a judgement,” says Kate, who started the associateship in mid-January.
“Since it started, I have been able to see first-hand the operation of criminal procedure and the principles of evidence, and really appreciate how well my Griffith education is serving me.”
Kate’s ability to engage with and interact with judges was honed during five years at the Griffith Law School, not least when she was part of the university team that took out the National Intervarsity Women’s Mooting Tournament for the first time in 2012.
Knowing the law and knowing how to perform in a courtroom were key elements of the triumph at Sydney’s Federal Court, where Kate was also named the competition’s best speaker.
“It was about knowing the facts. Once you learn your argument well, you believe it,” she describes the mooting success.
“It was also important to say it well and sound like you know what you are talking about, and to be convincing and reasonable.
“You also have to gauge the reaction of a judge in working out how far you can push your argument.”
Her prestigious associateship will allow her to see this important legal dynamic from another side.
Kate was initially drawn to criminal law as a career option but during studies at the Griffith Law School she developed a keen interest in advocacy and the influence of public policy to bring about greater fairness and equality for disadvantaged groups. She sees this as a career option she could pursue as a practising solicitor.
“The study of law gives you a great perspective about life and the society where we live our lives.”