Over 200 first year law students packed the gallery of the Banco Court at the Brisbane Supreme and District Courts for their first week at the Griffith Law School.
While no one was on trial, the event capped off Griffith Law School’s orientation week and brought together alumni and industry representatives to give an introduction to the profession and to discuss career paths.
Students were treated to a welcome address from Queensland’s first appointed female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, the Honourable Catherine Holmes.
She explained how the Banco Court is a fitting start to their journey as it is also used ceremoniously to admit apprentice lawyers into the profession.
“I encourage you to go beyond learning just the rules and law from textbooks – get actively involved in your studies, attend court, and observe cases being decided before a judge,” said Chief Justice Holmes.
Industry representatives from the Queensland Law Society and the Bar Association of Queensland were on hand to answer questions about the different work that solicitors and barristers carry out, and to give career advice.
Queensland Law President Christine Smyth added that the legal profession can be immensely rewarding.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than empowering someone to help themselves and that’s what we do as lawyers,” she said.
Alumni also gave invaluable insight about the path from study to practice, and students were further encouraged take up opportunities like moot competitions offered during their studies, and to seek industry mentoring to negotiate a competitive graduate market.
Practical advice from the beginning
For Lily Glendenning, the orientation event confirmed her decision to study law at Griffith University.
“It was really great to be welcomed by the Chief Justice and to see how many women are involved in the legal profession. It was inspiring. I’ve already taken on board their advice and signed up for a mentor,” she said.
Lily is originally from Mount Isa and spent a gap year working in Townsville. She moved to Brisbane to pursue a career in law and will be the first lawyer in her family when she graduates.
“I’m passionate about social justice and helping others. I’m really happy about choosing Griffith Law School – it feels like the right place for me. From the graduates that spoke to us, I know my studies and experience at Griffith Law School will set me apart.”