Blog

Wellbeing and the Law

On Monday 17 September, DLSS Geelong and Coulter Roache held their first ever Wellbeing and the Law Panel. The event brought together students on the brink of joining the legal profession, young lawyers from Coulter Roache, and Nicole Pluim (Deakin University psychologist) to discuss the many challenges that are present in the legal profession, especially for young people making the massive jump from University to working in the law.

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This year has seen the commencement of a new partnership between DLSS Geelong and Coulter Roache, one which has now produced the hugely successful Social Justice Luncheon featuring the Honourable Michael Kirby, the Social Justice Moot, and today’s Wellbeing Panel.

The event opened with Nicole giving a talk on the many stressors that can negatively effect mental health, especially for law students and young legal professionals. Nicole stressed that whilst many of us may experience episodic periods of mental ‘unwellness’, or mental illness, with proper care, treatment and support, many people can function well and go about their daily lives without too much interference or set-back from their illness.

She went on to discuss how finding a balance between all of your commitments is hugely important, by drawing up a ‘wheel of life’. The wheel should comprise of 8 parts, labelled with the various commitments and passions you have in life, and then determine how many parts of the wheel that commitment or passion takes up time-wise. Then you can analyse if your time is being spent on things you enjoy, if you’re spending too much time studying or working, or if you should spend more time engaging with family and friends.

We then welcomed our panel of lawyers from Coulter Roache – Tess Aberline, Satbir Singh, Allison Murhpy and Harriet Burton. All of these panelists, recent law graduates themselves, moved through a discussion on the various phases of moving into the legal profession, the challenges faced at each phase, and how each of our panelists tried to overcome the associated stress and anxiety that each phase brought on.

The resounding suggestion that came from our panel was to prioritise time on things you are truly passionate about, and to “say yes to less” – This stemming from the realisation that often many of us over-commit to work, volunteering, university life, socialising, and can’t contribute 100% to each task, which results in poor performance across the board. If you focus your time and energy into commitments that you are passionate about, you’re more likely to achieve better results and enjoy your time doing those tasks!

Each of our panelists gave a realistic and relative account of their transition into working as a lawyer full-time, coming out of many years of grueling study. Whilst the approach to overcoming adversity and set-backs is highly personal and changes from person to person, our panel were encouraging of students not comparing themselves to their colleagues and focusing instead on your own personal progression through the profession. Whilst it can be hard to see friends and fellow students attaining those sought-after clerkships and grad roles, and you might feel like you’re lagging behind, the only person whose progress you should be focused on and competing against is your own!

We cannot thank Nicole and the panel from Coulter Roache enough for their time, and for sharing their knowledge and experiences with our students! Also we are hugely appreciative of Coulter Roache for also allowing a large number of their staff to partake in this event and network with students before and after the presentations. It’s wonderful to see a regional firm engaging on such an intimate level with our student community and really practicing what they preach in regards to health and wellbeing initiatives for staff!

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In 2018, DLSS Geelong published our first ever Wellbeing Guide, which can be accessed online here. We strongly believe in equipping students with the skills to navigate their future careers, and as such, greatly appreciate the support that Coulter Roache has shown in kind for these initiatives throughout the year!

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Success and your mental health

By Brody Wons

As a student it is easy to find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others. You compare your grades to other students. You compare the amount of experience you have. You compare clerkship and grad offers. You compare your achievements and awards. You compare the number of LinkedIn connections you have.

It is easy to find yourself stuck in constant competition with those around you. Everyone fighting their way through law school with the aim of securing a lucrative clerkship or grad job. At law school it is easy to use others to define what success is. It is easy to compare your achievements and accomplishment to those around you and begin to feel inferior or unsuccessful.

It is easy for these feelings to translate into sleepless nights and stressful days as you do your best to manage; work, study, competitions, legal experience, volunteering, networking, and clerkship/grad applications. You find yourself constantly looking for things to add to the never-ending list of things to do. You keep telling yourself that you just need to make it through the next week and it will get easier, that things will slow down. But they don’t, they keep getting quicker as you take on my opportunities and try and cram more things into your schedule. All of this done, in order to be able to call yourself “successful”.

But what does “success” actually mean? What does being “successful” actually look like? The truth is “success” is not something that can be universally defined. What is a major success for one person might actually be a failure for another person. When it comes to success the only person who is capable of defining it is you. You define your own success. It is your choice what you spend your time and energy one.

Thus, the constant comparisons we make to those around serve no point but to lower our self-image, create anxiety, and lower the confidence we have in ourselves. There are only two people we should ever draw comparisons from. Our past selves and our future selves. The first being through the process of reflection and the second being through the process of goal-setting.

The process of reflection involves analysing the past and comparing where you are presently to where you used to be. This process can help us determine our strengths and weakness as well as provide us with areas where we can improve. The process enables us to see how far we have come, and all of the obstacles that we overcome.

Going in the opposite direction, the process of goal-setting involves clearly defining who you want to be in the future. It is the process of seeing what type of lifestyle you want to have. It is the process of determining what is important to you. Goal-setting can be a powerful tool, which can be used to provide direction in your life and also assist you when making hard decisions.

Overall, whether it is law school, practice as a lawyer or life generally; there is no one definition of “success”. Everyone’s definition of success is different, and everyone can be successful in different ways. You don’t achieve anything by comparing yourself to others. It is time to define your own success.

In 2018, DLSS Geelong published our first ever Wellbeing Guide, which can be accessed online here. We strongly believe in equipping students with the skills to navigate their future careers, and as such, greatly appreciate the support that Coulter Roache has shown in kind for these initiatives throughout the year!

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Steps to social justice | The Honourable Michael Kirby’s visit to Geelong

By Taylah Eastwell

Originally published by Deakin Law School

Deakin Law School (DLS) had the pleasure of welcoming the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG to the Geelong Waterfront Campus last Friday. His Honour made a special appearance at two sold-out social justice themed events organised by the Deakin Law Student Society (DLSS) Geelong.

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Sporting a purple tie in support of LGBTQIA+ ‘Where it Purple Day’, His Honour delivered a lecture and attended a luncheon where he addressed a range of existential social justice issues from nuclear power to refugee rights.

“Although I am a gay man and don’t have children, I am concerned about the future of our species. If we don’t act on these issues, the long-term survival of our species is very unsure”, he said.

He urged upcoming legal professionals to become actively involved in advocating for change, in particular by beginning the conversation about nuclear weapons and expressing our safety concerns to our politicians. His Honour believes nuclear weapons are set to become a more widespread, global issue that will render the legal system incapable of protecting individuals if appropriate action is not taken to control and minimise the access of nuclear weapons by power-hungry civilisations.
On the subject of politics, His Honour joked about his aspirations as a law student to be Prime Minister and his belief that he took the more ‘stable career option’ following last week’s events in politics. He noted that when he was considering a political career it was almost impossible for a gay man to reach the top due to archaic views but hopes his work in standing up for minorities has had a positive impact on making homosexuality more accepted in power roles.

President of the DLSS Geelong, Lauren Solomonson, said “one of the major difficulties for our society with being based regionally is that it is usually tricky to secure prominent guests at our events. Organising for such an esteemed guest to come all the way from Sydney to speak with students is a huge accomplishment.”

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While students and professionals working in social justice fields enjoyed a catered luncheon, issues of family violence and sexuality discrimination were raised for comment. His Honour believes the best approach to address these issues is through education in schools from an early age on equality and gender inclusive attitudes. His Honour also believes religious conviction is outdated and requires change.

“I was left alone in the public school system to work things out for myself. On a recent visit to WA I was informed that there is only one private Catholic school offering LGBTQIA+ inclusive education. The Anglican Church gave $1 million to the ‘no’ campaign and only $5,000 to domestic violence. I don’t think we can begin to deal with the rest of these issues until change occurs” in these areas, he said.

In true ‘Great Dissenter’ fashion, His Honour said that the High Court should have more dissents as a final court.

“If there is no room for disagreement, the matter should not have made it to the High Court to begin with. As a final court there should be dissent. If there are no differing views it shows all the judges are being picked from too similar of gene pool”.

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His Honour urged those about to enter the legal profession to remember that law is about balancing the rules with proper justice, and urged them to join the fight in making a more accepting and equal society for minorities groups and others suffering at the hands of the justice system.

“It excites me to see so many students engaged and passionate about the existential issues facing our society. It makes me confident that the young leaders of our country’s future are cognizant of these plights, ready and willing to discuss them, and want to ignite real change”, said Lauren.

The $540 received from ticket sales for the events was donated to the ‘Give Where You Live Foundation’, a Geelong based organisation supporting those who suffer disadvantage.

“DLSS Geelong does a lot to give back to our student community but thought this event was the perfect occasion to also give back to the greater Geelong community. We would like to thank all students who purchased a ticket for their contribution”, Lauren added.

What’s on for the remainder of Tri 2!?

By Lauren Solomonson

If you haven’t checked out our Facebook page lately, you’ll have been missing all of the exciting events we have coming up before the end of the Trimester!

What’s on?

Once we’re all back from the mid-Tri break, the DLSS Geelong Annual General Meeting is on Wednesday the 22nd of August at 5:30pm in room D2.194! This is open to all, but only paid members receive voting rights. For more information on how to run for a position on the 2019 DLSS Geelong committee at the AGM, please visit https://dlssgeelong.wordpress.com/annual-general-meeting-2018/. Applications close August 17th at 11:59pm.

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The following week on Wednesday the 29th of August at 6:30pm in the Western Beach Room at the Waterfront Campus we are hosting the First Year Negotiation final against Burwood’s competitiors! This event is sponsored by Harwood Andrews, so it’s a great opportunity particularly for those wanting to work in the Geelong region, or in particular get a clerkship at Harwood Andrews, to meet some of their staff and network following the competition final.

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Later that week on Friday the 31st of August, we are super excited to be hosting the Honorable Michael Kirby AC CGM at the Waterfront campus for a guest lecture and luncheon!  The lecture is open to all, you don’t have to be a law students. The Social Justice Luncheon is a more intimate affair providing students who have a particular interest in social justice topics the opportunity to talk with like-minded students and professionals, including The Hon Michael Kirby, and representatives from Slater & Gordon, Harwood Andrews, Coulter Roache.

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Across the 5th and 6th of September, Deakin Law School are hosting the heats, semi-finals and grand final of the Alfred Deakin ICA Moot. This competition is focused on international commercial law and arbitration. Arbitration is the business community’s preference for resolving international commercial disputes and legal practitioners who are skilled in this area are highly sought-after. Participants will be required to seek resolution to a fictitious problem in a simulated courtroom setting.

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Join DLSS Geelong and Coulter Roache on Monday the 17th of September between 12-2pm in the Western Beach Room to hear from a fantastic panel of lawyers about what it takes to cut it in the profession, with a particular focus on mental health, overcoming adversity and career progression. We will also be joined by one of Deakin’s professional psychologists, Nicole Pluim, and representatives from regional support networks. More details will be released in the coming weeks!

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We’re also partnering with Coulter Roache this Trimester to bring you the inaugural inter-varsity Social Justice Moot! Heats will be held in weeks 9 and 10, with the final being held in Geelong on the 20th of September 2018 (location and time TBD). This is a wonderful opportunity to flex your mooting muscles in a topical area of law (think Human Rights law, workplace disputes such as unfair dismissals, LGTBQI+ rights and more), and compete against the best from other Victorian Universities. The top-scored Deakin team will take on the top-scored external University!

Following the final of the Social Justice Moot on the 20th of September, let your hair down and enjoy a few cheap bevs with the DLSS Geelong team at Piano Bar! There’ll be live music, and we’ve secured our own private room so you can unashamedly bust a move with your mates!!!

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To round out the Trimester, we are hosting an ‘End of Year Picnic’ down at the Steampacket Gardens on Sunday the 30th of September! This event will see Law students of all ages bring their friends and family (children are more than welcome!) down to the Waterfront for games, light snacks (BYO) and some friendly frolicking with pets! Keep a look out on our Facebook page for more details closer to the date!

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2018 Harwood Andrews Hackathon

By Lauren Solomonson, DLSS Geelong President

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On Saturday August 4th, DLSS Geelong and Harwood Andrews co-hosted our second annual Hackathon at Deakin’s Waterfront campus.

Having had an informal networking event at the Harwood Andrews’ offices on the Friday night to introduce all student participants to each other and to the participating Harwood Andrews and Deakin staff, Saturday’s event was opened with a keynote address from Sophie Tversky, the Victorian president of The Legal Forecast.

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There were five teams, and five challenge stations for the day. The challenge stations were designed by Harwood Andrews to reflect the five stages of a client’s engagement with the firm:

  1. Finding the firm and tapping into new markets;
  2. First touch-point for new clients;
  3. Managing the client experience;
  4. Enhancing the client experience with add-ons; and
  5. The ongoing client relationship.

Teams were tasked with addressing each of these stages, and the issues that arise throughout a client’s experience, to see how a change in process or a new technological tool might be able to assist and better the experience.

The winning team – ‘Savoury Dog People’ (chosen as their team name because they all liked savoury food… and dogs!) were praised for their re-design of the Harwood Andrews client web portal. Some of their new features included a status bar (like what you see when you order a pizza with Dominos) for tracking the progress of a matter, and a series of online animation videos that explain the various legal departments and address frequently asked questions.

Overall students had a wonderful time working in teams alongside legal professionals tackling the very real issues that they will one day be faced with as young lawyers in a profession that is being radically effected by the integration of technology.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Stephanie Beard, General Manager at Harwood Andrews, and to all of their staff for being so invested in this event and pushing to run it for a second year in a row. An increase in student participation this year shows that this is a significant area of interest for our cohort and the event will hopefully run again in 2019!

I’d also like to thank Sophie Tversky for coming down from Melbourne to be with us on Friday and Saturday. Her keynote address challenging participants to ‘think outside the circle’ and push the boundaries of what we ‘know’ inspired all of us to be as innovative and creative as possible. Thank you also to Justyna Sobczyk from the Deakin Law School and Meagan O’Connor from Sladen Legal for judging our teams!

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Lastly, thank you to the Deakin Business and Law Faculty for wanting to be involved and support this event this year. Jean du Plessis was a wonderful proponent for this event, and with his help and the help of Faculty staff it was exciting to have the event on campus this year.

Want to know more about what’s to come from DLSS Geelong in the Careers sphere? You might want to *SAVE THE DATE* Friday August 31st! Big things are coming, just you wait and see! Keep and eye on our Facebook page for more details!

IDAHOBIT Day 2018

By Reid Hadaway

 

IDAHOBIT stands for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia, and is held every year on May 17. This date marks the day in 1990 when the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation officially approved the declassification of homosexuality as a diagnosable disease. When one considers the evolution of LGBTIQ rights since 1990, the rate of change in acceptance and the advancement of equal rights is astonishing. In 1990, two Australian states still listed consenting homosexual activity as a crime (remaining so in Tasmania until 1997) and no country in the world had made the move toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Now, in 2018, Australia, along with roughly 26 other countries (a number set to grow thanks to recent court rulings around the globe) has legalised same-sex marriage, and transgender rights continue to gain recognition. However, the advancement of rights is a slow process, and much is left to be done. Currently, 75% of Australian LGTBIQ youth experience discrimination, and over 60% experience verbal abuse, not to mention the astonishingly high rates of depression and suicide among LGBTIQ youth. In my view, IDAHOBIT is a touchstone upon which we may observe our changes year upon year. In this way IDAHOBIT is about growth.

With this idea of growth in mind, it is fair to say that for many LGBTIQ people, myself included, our lives are about gradual growth and acceptance. I first came out to my friend at Year 7 camp when I was 13 years old, from then on, my experiences as a member of the LGBTIQ community range from having my crush get told I liked him in front of a dozen judgemental Year 7s to coming out to an accepting and loving family. However, if I had to choose one common denominator in my life as I developed into a proud gay person, it would be the reliable and accepting group of friends I have surrounded myself with. Since I started university I have known nothing but acceptance and kindness, from my friends and now the Law Society Committee.

Although I acknowledge that I am privileged. Privileged to have been born at a time of exponential growth in the acceptance of LGBTIQ people and the decay of old world stigma. Privileged to have an accepting family and kind friends, when many people in my community are not afforded such kindness. As such, I wish to impart this message as a means of framing IDAHOBIT 2018. Be an ally. Support your friends and be to others what my friends are to me, a safety net of support. This year support IDAHOBIT and “stand with [your] LGBTI mates”, and help continue the growth that the last 28 years has borne witness to.

And to those reading this who have not been exposed the same acceptance I have and are trapped in the confines of stigma, know this. It gets better. And we’re all here to help. Join a support group or a society, the DLSSG is committed to standing with our LGBTI members and mates, continuing its promotion and support of a more accepting environment for LGBTIQ people. Contact any one of us for help accessing resources, or just for a coffee and a chat, so we can help build your safety net. Our goal is that every person may be proud of who they are, because I’m proud and you deserve to be too.

I wish everybody a happy IDAHOBIT and conclude with my heartfelt belief that it gets better and we have no where to go but up, so let’s do our part keep on growing.

Your Guide to an A+ Law Ball 2018!

So, you may or may not have heard that the DLSS Geelong Law Ball will be Friday August 10th (and if you haven’t, you have now)! The night will include a three course dinner, free beer/wine/spirits, photographers, a photo (and GIF) booth, as well as premium entertainment!

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So, perhaps you’re new to Geelong and don’t know where to find the perfect dress or suit for the night, or are unsure of a hairdresser you can trust to get your hair done – Have no fear, we are here to help you out so you can get lit for Law Ball 2018!

Getting your glam on

The dress code for Law Ball is strictly black tie – that means suits or tuxs with ties or bow ties, and fancy dresses!

If you’re looking to buy something in person in the Geelong area, Westfield would be your starting place. There’s Forever NewHutch StoreMelrose Ave, MyerBardotCountry RoadSeed and more. For the lads, there’s BossiniConnorPeter Jackson, and Roger David to name a few. If you’re like, it can sometimes be reassuring to buy something fancy like this in person, rather than online, and there’s even an alterations place downstairs in Westfield if you need any adjustments made!

You could also shop almost any of these stores online too, but a few personal favourites that operate online only include MissguidedASOSBoohoo, and The Iconic. Don’t forget, lots of these retails offer student discounts through sites such as Unidays, so it’s always worth to search around before making your purchase! If you use Google Chrome as your browser of choice, there’s also an extension called ‘Honey‘ which will alert you to discount codes that the site might be offering at the time! Get on it!

Finishing touches

This one is mainly for the ladies – It can be hard to commit to paying to get your hair and make up done if you don’t have the first clue about who to trust, or where to start looking!

This year, we’re excited to have partnered with Blondie Hair + Cosmetica, and Hilary Holmes Make Up to offer our Law Ball attendees some special offers! Blondie are offering 20% off all of their services, and you can see the deals on offer at Hilary Holmes below.

Alternatively, Mecca offer various make up services and is best to book in advance! Some of the concession stands inside Myer like MAC and Benefit offer makeovers too, as does Blush Bar.

Hair can be hard, especially if you don’t know who to trust with your precious locks. I personally go to my wonderful pal at Tortoise & Hair in Belmont and they are FANTASTIC! The girls at Hidden Minx in Geelong West do some wonderful work, as do Salon Eve in Manifold Heights and Darren Grayson’s in Newtown! We can also personally recommend the fine gals at Rixons in Newtown for a killer up-do.

On the night

We want to make sure you have the funnest, and safest night possible at Law Ball 2018! For this reason, we will have the buddy system in place to make sure that no one is left wandering alone back to their car/ride at the end of the night. We will make it known on the night who our designated ‘buddies’ are from the committee, just come grab us (even if we’re breaking it down on the d-floor), and we will make sure you get to the car safe!

The DLSS Geelong also encourages the safe consumption of alcohol – we don’t want to be Debbie Downers but NO ONE (believe me) likes the feeling of waking up the next day and remembering that terrible selfie they shared drunkenly on Facebook, or that ex they texted out of desperation. Play it cool, have some fun, but don’t put yourself in danger of forgetting about the whole epic night you had because of too many moscatos!

So what now?

Well, tickets are on sale RIGHT NOW via the link on our Facebook event page. Last year we sold out, so if you’re on the fence about coming, you can check out our photos from the event last year here and here, where we had over 260 people in attendance!

Don’t live near Geelong but want to attend? This year we are excited to have launched our Support Packages for distance students! These packages are open for applications now, and are valued at $188. For more information, please visit https://dlssgeelong.wordpress.com/offcampus/

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BALL!

Coulter Roache

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Coulter Roache is a Geelong firm that is very involved in the local community. They have a team of nearly 70 people across 6 locations to ensure that needs of the region are met.

‘Coulter Roache has been serving Geelong’s commercial community for more than 80 years. Our purpose is to assist and empower the businesses of Geelong to prosper and carry the region into a new era of economic success. We are embedded in the fabric of the region and proudly support our community via pro bono services and sponsorships for community organisations and events.’

They specialise in the areas of :

  • Corporate & Commercial Law
  • Workplace Relations
  • Family Law
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Conveyancing
  • Wills, Estates & Succession Planning

And their key clients include major businesses in the region such as:

  • Surf Coast Shire
  • Geelong Cats
  • McColl’s
  • Hotham
  • Bendigo Bank
  • Barwon Health
  • The Gordan
  • Barwon Water
  • Quiksilver
  • TAC

Coulter Roache provides students with a number of ways to get involved with their firm including through the CR Create Program (A new program in 2018), CR Engage (Clerkship Program) and CR Launch (Graduate Program)

Coulter Roache is a signatory to the LIV’s Seasonal Clerkship Guidelines and their Seasonal Clerkship program application periods are open in line with these Guidelines.

  • Applications open: 9:00am on Monday 9 July 2018
  • Applications close: 11:59pm on Sunday 12 August 2018
  • Offers will be made from 10:00am on Thursday 18 October 2018.

Their graduates for each year are selected from the seasonal clerks who participate in the CR Engage Program.

For more information: https://www.coulterroache.com.au/

KPMG: The diverse graduate option with endless possibilities

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What is KPMG?:

KPMG is a large global network of professional services firms currently operating in 154 countries, with 6,700 people in Australia alone. The firm provides services to organisations across a wide range of industries, government, and non-for-profit sectors; specializing in audit and assurance, tax and advisory.

Diverse Opportunities for Students and Graduates, and why you should know about it:

KPMG offers a competitive Graduate Program for innovative and industrious individuals who enjoy a challenge. They provide their graduates with opportunities for learning and development in a supportive environment to see you meet your potential. If you’re still not entirely sure which area you want to work in, the graduate program is incredibly diverse and gives you the option to grow and explore a variety of areas in the firm regardless of your degree.

Career choices at KPMG include Commercial Law, Audit and Assurance, Deal Advisory, Enterprise, Management Consulting, Risk Consulting, and Tax.

There is also a Vacation Program on offer which allows penultimate-year students to get a taste of what working at KPMG is like. This 8-week program is a great opportunity to gain experience in a highly-respected firm and kick-start your career. Click here for more information on how to apply:
https://home.kpmg.com/au/en/home/careers/graduates/how-to-apply.html

How to apply:

The application process for the Graduate Program involves an online application, abilities assessment, and video interview; followed by an information session and panel interview in the final stage. Applications for the 2019 Graduate roles and 2018/19 Summer Vacation roles opened in February. Follow KPMG on Facebook to keep up to date with deadlines:
www.facebook.com/KPMGinAustraliaGraduatesandStudents

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The College of Law

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The Deakin Law Student Society Geelong is honoured to have the College of Law as one of our sponsors again in 2018. They are renowned as the school of professional practice or lawyers within Australia and New Zealand.

Currently studying law?

The College of Law website also has a job search, which are all relevant to building your legal career. They range from part-time, full-time, volunteering, grad positions, PLT placement and so on. It is a great place to start looking, even so you know what is available. https://jobs.collaw.com

Their website also provides an understanding to the career options for lawyers. This can be very helpful to read up on during your law degree to get an understanding of where you want your degree to take you, and potentially what electives you should be studying to get there. https://www.collaw.edu.au/your-career/career-options-for-lawyers

Finished your law degree?

The College of Law offers online Practical Legal Training in Victoria, whether it suits your needs to be full-time or part-time. The program is tailored for those who have finished their law degree, and are preparing for admission into legal practice. The College of Law website provides great advice on entry requirements, how to apply, and an overview of the program. https://www.collaw.edu.au/programs/plt/c-24/c-78?Program%20Type=Practical+Legal+Training