Harwood Andrews HACKATHON

Lawyers and students come together for the first inaugural Harwood Andrews HACKATHON 

Harwood Andrews has been sponsoring the Deakin Law Students Society Geelong for over ten years.  In recent discussions with representatives of the Society, it was agreed that it would be a great idea to run a HACKATHON where lawyers from Harwood Andrews and students from Deakin could come together to collaborate, innovate and to tackle the challenges confronting the future of work and the legal industry.

This is exactly what we did on Saturday August 19th, where 5 lawyers, 7 students and 3 managers of the firm came together to brainstorm from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm.  We focused on digital disruption in the legal industry and how we could change the customer experience in the digital era.  The aim was to develop a blue print of change where we can add value to our service delivery to clients.

It was a great opportunity for the students to meet and interact with lawyers in a real firm situation where they no doubt walked out with a better understanding of the day to day challenges of working in a legal firm and what happens behind the scenes.

What we did on the day
We split in to two teams, one of the hardest decisions for one team was to come up with a name.  We ended up with The Disruptors v The Jokers.  Game on!   We believe competition is a good thing. Everyone had a couple of topics to choose from, with the Jokers choosing “The Client Interaction experience” and the Disruptors choosing the Client App – “Digitising the Conveyancing experience”.  A structure was designed for each team to follow.

What we saw on the day
There was lots of fun, interaction, collaboration, discussion, laughter, creativity and innovation happening in the room, where post it notes were stuck all over walls and butcher paper scribbled on.  Our mantra was NO IDEA is a BAD IDEA.  We created a culture in the room where there was no fear to come forward with any idea.  We also had great food, with yoghurts, fresh fruit, delicious quiches and sandwiches for consumption together with lollies on the table and lots of drinks, both hot and cold.

What was the outcome
WOW is all I can say.  The ideas that were pitched at the end of the day by each team were amazing!  I can’t give too much away, because the ideas that were put forward will be actioned and will differentiate us from our competitors!  The Jokers broke down the interaction with clients into three stages –

  • pre-engagement;
  • engagement; and
  • post-engagement

and were very succinct in their presentation with everyone taking a turn to pitch their ideas.  The Disruptors prepared a digital presentation which was also impressive coming up with an app to change the way lawyers deliver conveyancing to clients.  Again, each team member had the opportunity to present.

And the winner is!
I had the joy of being the Judge.  I did ask for bribes throughout the day, but none were forthcoming, which proves that there was also ethics in the room!  Both presentations were fantastic, but The Disruptors came away with the winning certificate, yes there were certificates handed out. The only difference was that their point of difference was a little bit more than The Jokers.   However, everyone was a winner with each participant receiving a JB Hi-Fi Voucher for giving up their time.

Post Event
A survey was sent to both our students and lawyers.  Lauren Solomonson found the experience extremely rewarding “I loved that each team had a combination of students and lawyers, and everyone’s opinions and ideas were treated equally.  This mix meant the ideas were not just innovative but practical to today’s legal industry”.

What’s next
The ideas created will be actioned.  This will become an annual event where I know we will have both lawyers and students lining up to participate!

Stephanie Beard
General Manager – People
Harwood Andrews



The Leo Cussen Centre for Law

Today’s blog post is going to focus on life after uni, specifically on the Leo Cussen Centre for Law, so get ready to think about your future and get excited for the next step in your career!

What is Leo Cussen?

The Leo Cussen Centre for Law is an independent not for profit centre that provides practical legal training for students like us once we’ve finished our degrees, ongoing professional development for lawyers, and law programs and publications for professionals of all types!

With training facilities in Perth and Melbourne, Leo Cussen is one of the two PLT providers in Victoria. Their program has an emphasis on practical experience and they offer a combination of part time and full time courses, offered on site and online.

So what’s the next step?

After graduating with your law degree, the next step is obtaining practical legal training in order to be admitted to the legal profession. This can be done by completing Leo Cussen’s Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, which will equip you with the skills you need. You will be continually guided by a mentor who will actively oversee your progression through the course and who will support your development as a lawyer.

After years and years of uni exams, you’ll also be happy to hear that at Leo Cussens, there are NO EXAMS! You’ll be continually assessed throughout the program in order to ensure that you’re ready to practise the law efficiently and effectively in Victoria.

FEE-HELP is also available.

When should you apply?

The next PLT course starts on January 29, 2018. Full time onsite, full time online and part time online courses start on this day.

To apply for these courses, visit the Leo Cussen website and submit an application before November 17, 2017.

Want more information?


KPMG: Your versatile career option

By Kaitlin Coles – First Year Representative

So, who is KPMG?
KPMG is a world leading consultancy agency from the accountancy and financial management sector that combines practical industry knowledge with a multi-disciplinary approach to assist their clients maximise their opportunities and overcome challenges. KPMG is committed to helping their clients grow and protecting their sustainable values within the community. The company has over 30 practice areas tailored to meet the needs of mid-sized and family-owned businesses, with exceptional services available in the audit, tax and advisory areas.

Why should you know about them?
You should be familiar with KPMG because they offer incredibly valuable graduate jobs and internships! Life at KPMG offers truly challenging and rewarding careers, and according to, graduate satisfaction is ranked four out of five stars!  KPMG accepts applications from all disciplines, including finance accounting, business admin, arts, economics, law, medical science, humanities, computer science and education. Regardless of your degree, KPMG is interested in highly-skilled young professionals who are willing to work hard to achieve the company’s goals and represent their values.

KPMG is a great place to work as they are devoted to helping graduates develop and grow through providing ongoing training, structured development programs and a mentor. They also offer generous benefits, industry-leading professional programs and international opportunities.

KPMG offers diverse careers across their many practice areas and industries including marketing, finance, HR and IT, and provides pathways through their noteworthy Audit and Assurance, Tax, Advisory, KMPG Enterprise and Shared Services departments.

KPMG has taken on 420 graduates and 358 vacationers within the last year and continue to grow, which means there are many opportunities available. To apply for any of the positions with KPMG you simply complete an online application. From there, the selection process includes an abilities assessment, a video interview and a final interview for successful candidates.

When should you apply?
KPMG accepts applications all year round, however, more specific application dates for different positions can be found here:

Exciting opportunity – Our Foundations Program
KPMG generously runs the Our Foundations Program which is a 2-day development session and learning experience that allows you to explore career possibilities and find out more about KPMG. This is also an excellent opportunity to network with peers and professionals, and participate in workshops designed to develop essential workplace skills. Applications for this program are being accepted now and submissions close on Sunday the 17th of September. More information regarding the Foundations program can be found here:

 Want to know more?
To find out more about KPMG, you can find them on all their social media platforms. Check them out below!

  • Website:
  • Linked In @ kpmg-australia
  • Youtube @ KPMG Australia
  • Instagram @ kpmgaustralia
  • Facebook @ KMPGinAustraliaGraduatesandStudents
  • Twitter @ kpmgaustralia


The College of Law: What it is, and why you should be interested

By Lauren Solomonson

We here at the DLSS GEELONG want you to be fully aware of all of your options when it comes to your degree, and to support you even as you get ready to finish your degree and become a *real adult*, so we are bringing you a series of blogs about firms and PLT options! Today’s topic is the College of Law!




So what is the College of Law?

The College of Law is the school of professional practice for lawyers in Australia and New Zealand. We are also the largest provider of practice-focused legal education in Australasia. They have study locations in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, as well as some international offices. They also hold events at their locations for law students on their programs, networking nights and more (Check out Facebook for what’s coming up soon)!


Why should you know about them?

In order to be admitted as a lawyer in Australia, you need to satisfy three requirements

  • You’ve completed a law degree or equivalent course
  • You’ve undertaken a Practical Legal Training (PLT) program, which results in the award of the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice
  • You’re a fit and proper person.

PLT is where the College of Law comes in! They, along with Leo Cussen, are the two PLT providers in VIC.

At the College of Law, there is only five days compulsory on-site attendance during your study, and they have full-time, part-time, onsite and offsite study options.


Wait… What is PLT?

Practical Legal Training (PLT) is a structured training program designed to help you develop the practical, day-to-day skills you will need as an entry-level lawyer.

Completion of a PLT program is the second essential step to being admitted as a lawyer – the first being your law degree.


When do you apply for PLT at the College of Law?

Your PLT is usually undertaken at the end of your academic studies. However, as of 1 January 2015 it is possible to start earlier if you have completed all Priestley 11 core subjects of your law degree – with no more than two electives remaining.

To start your PLT early, you will need to seek approval from the admitting authority in the state you wish to be admitted to practise.


Want to know more?

Head to or check out their YouTube channel for some short, informative videos!

Your Guide to an A+ Law Ball 2017!

So, you may or may not have heard that the DLSS Geelong Law Ball will be September 8th (and if you haven’t, you have now)! The night will include a three course dinner, free beer/wine/spirits, photographers, a photo booth, premium entertainment and a FREE after party!










We will also for the first time have an app you can download to help you out before and after the night, which includes an FAQ page, the list of seating arrangements (once finalised) as well as updates on ticket releases! Download it now so you don’t miss out:


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 look H.O.T. and have the best night of 2017!


Get your glam on

Personal recommendations for shopping include the following:

If you’re looking to buy something in person in the Geelong area, Westfield would be your starting place. There’s Forever New, Hutch Store, Melrose Ave, Myer, Bardot, Country Road, Seed and more. For the lads, there’s Bossini, Connor, Peter 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 Missguided, ASOS, Boohoo, 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!

If you’re looking to get your make up done, there’s a few places in Geelong where you can book in, and the money you pay to get your look can be claimed on product on the same day! For example, Mecca (thank goodness they’re open now!)  offer this service 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 Co (but I’ve booked her for the night, so HA!) but the other ladies at her salon in Belmont are all 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 2017! 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 WHO IS READY?! We sure are.












Find the Facebook event page below, and click ‘going’ to be the first to know when tickets go live:

What the DLSS Geelong is doing to battle harassment & work towards safer events

By Alissa Ierardi

Let’s face it, every student loves to party and have a good time. But there is one thing that should always happen whether we are at the library late at night studying, walking down the street, catching the train home or attending events like our Piano Bar or Law Ball. We should want to feel safe and we should not feel harassed.

In light of the recent Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) first national survey which reported on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities (If you’d like to give it a read, CLICK HERE), We thought it was appropriate that as a society we spoke up about some of the initiatives we have put in place to ensure that our events ARE ALWAYS SAFE for everyone that attends.

We realised at our first function for 2017, the Annual Unlawful Launch, that many people are inclined to not organise ways home, or leave alone. To ensure our patrons have the opportunity for a safer journey, we decided to implement systems to promote safer ways home.

So we implemented the Buddy system. Designated people from our society wear name tags and put their hands up to walk in pairs to people’s cars, to train stations, or to a place where we’re pretty sure you are safe.

We put this in place from our Trivia Night, Piano Bar and we intend to operate at our Law Ball too. The initiative, thought of by the lovely Madeline McDonald (2017 Vice President of Functions) has been a great success and is making headways within the DUSA team at Geelong.

To move forward and ensure that our events always run hassle free, Deakin has comprised an online training module called Consent Matters (You can read about it here). This module is designed to educate students about engaging in a respectful Deakin culture. The online module ‘covers sexual consent, communication and relationships and bystander intervention’. You can complete this module through your Cloud Deakin Portal.

But here is the wonderful thing. If you complete this module, and you have bought a ticket for our Law Ball. YOU COULD BE ONE OF THE LUCKY FEW TO HAVE YOUR TICKET REIMBURSED.

Screenshot your completion of this module and send the screenshot to for your chance to win your free ticket!

Our events always have DUSA approval. This process sees our events thoroughly perused by the DUSA team to ensure our events are set at certain guidelines, that security is present and our events are marketed correctly.

You may see some of us around uni, or at our events or you may have no idea who we are. HOWEVER, we are a group of students who are ready to listen, we even have an off-campus representative (She does a pretty amazing job by the way).

Remember, that Deakin has a huuuuuge number of support services, Safe Zone App and security around EVERY campus. You can check it out some more information here. If you’re unsure on who to contact, you can always message the DLSS GEELONG and we can help point you in the right direction.



Need some help with your legal research?

Let’s be honest, being able to google case names does not count as legal research. Legal research can be a lot more complicated, frustrating and time consuming. So that’s why DLSS Geelong is running 2 legal research workshops for you all to attend!

Anyone and everyone will benefit from these. Looking to do a clerkship this year or about to graduate and want to brush up on your skills? Filling your diary with assignment due dates and feeling a little overwhelmed? Just can’t remember what you learnt in Legal Principles and Skills all those years ago? We got you.

We are privileged to have on board Law Librarian, Michelle Bendall, in conjunction with Helen Wood to answer all of your burning questions and to assist you in further developing the skills you have acquired throughout your degree.

The first session will focus on researching and knowing your way around legislation. Session 1 will be held at the Deakin Waterfront Campus Library – Training Room (Computer Lab) on Wednesday the 2nd of August from 11.00am until 1.00pm. Register your attendance using this link: and check out our Facebook to keep updated on the event:

The second session will be more focussed on researching case law and other materials that will be useful to you. Session 2 will be held at Deakin Waterfront Campus, D3.206 on  Wednesday the 9th of August from until 1.00pm. Register your attendance using this link: and check out our Facebook to keep updated on the event:

Students are required to bring their own personal computer, or handheld device (i.e iPad) with internet connectivity to participate in the program.

All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance in recognition of your efforts!

And if you want a refresher on referencing skills while you’re at it, DUSA is running a referencing workshop. Follow this link for more details:

By Lauren Oloughlin


Why you should join a Student Society Committee

By Alissa Ierardi

You may have heard we have three vacant positions to fill for our committee! These positions could be filled by LITERALLY ANYONE – you could be in your final year, your first year or even an off-campus student! But you might be thinking, why should I waste my time? What’s the benefits?

If you’re one of those students that hides in your room on res, this is a great way to get out and meet people that face the same struggles and share the same interests with you. You will also get to meet people that you would not have likely come across if you hide under your blanket watching Netflix all day. People from older year levels who have completed classes that you’re yet to take! It’s such a great way to get first-hand experience on how to tackle particular subjects, buy and sell textbooks or even tips for exams!


Even if you fill a position that’s not as active as others, you still establish a number of qualities simply by becoming a member, you’ll have the chance to develop commitment, team work and time management skills.

You get to see the ins and outs of how everything is debated and created – particularly for us with our Law Ball coming up – Save the date by the way 08.09.2017! We hold regular meetings and get to attend all of our events and functions. All of this activity can really help to enrich your university experience


Building a social network, and developing membership skills leads to one big thing every student is striving for – A JOB. Joining a society is voluntary experience and this looks pretty impressive when you’re trying to get a job, internship or graduate position. That sounds pretty damn good doesn’t it?



Competitions officer
Your role is to help out the VP of comps, whether this is helping to organise heats, sit in as actors for the comps, attend the finals or liaise with potential judges and the Burwood LSS.

Marketing and Publications Officer
A part of your role will be getting to write blog posts just like this one! Work on our social media platforms, advertise our current events and graphic design all the awesome stuff you see pop up on our Facebook feed and App!

First-year Representative
As a first year rep you really get the best of all worlds. You will rotate through all of our portfolios and get to experience every element of society life!

The work we all do is rewarding to say the least. We balance this alongside full time work commitments, full time study, volunteering for other organisations, travelling overseas, living alone or with friends. We truly are a wonderful and unique group.


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How to Survive Clerkship Application Season – by someone who is currently freaking out just like you!

By Lauren Solomonson

If you’ve clicked the link to read this you’re thinking one of two things: A) what on Earth are clerkships or B) YES I’m not alone!!!

Now here’s a GIF of Harvey Specter smiling just to calm your nerves.

harvey smile.gif

So, coming from personal experience gathered by both myself (currently doing this process just the same as you) and fellow law students who have also run this gauntlet, here are some tips to help you get by and hopefully get a kick ass clerkship for this upcoming season!

1. Make a list of places to apply

There’s nothing worse than knowing you need to do something but having no idea where to start. A simple Google search will set you on the right path, or (because I feel for you right now) I’ll link you straight to the LIV complete list of 2017 signatories: Click here for life-saving joy! There’s also other relevant information on their site, including deadlines and other helpful tips! Don’t want to miss out on opportunities because you get the deadline wrong.

2. Have a clear idea about the type of firm you would want to work at

When you picture your future, do you see yourself working in a corporate firm, or a criminal one, maybe family law, or something more obscure like media law? It may seem right now that the end goal is just receiving a clerkship offer, but be careful you don’t apply to firms that don’t interest you one bit. Starting off your career in an area you’re not interested in is not a great start, and you won’t feel as committed to the work and networking opportunities if you’re heart isn’t in it 110%.

3. Get that CV in tip-top shape

By now in your career you’ve probably got a resume or CV slowly growing on your desktop. Now is the best time to take what you’ve got and try to make it better! This could mean re-wording some old job descriptions, making sure your employment dates are correct, checking that old referees are still happy to be called, or doing a total re-design. Nothing could be worse than a firm calling a referee and having them say “Alex who?”. I personally use Canva, a free online tool, to do my graphic design work for my CV (not a paid ad, just a genuine recommendation) so if you’re feeling a bit tech savvy, I’d say give it a go!

4. Draft a cover letter, and get someone to proof read it for you

We all have that one friend from high school who got straight A+s in English or Literature, now is the time to hit them up for some proofreading. It always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes look over something you’ve been intently working on, as when you’re uber-familiar with a document you can often miss things that others will pick up on. Or, if you’ve got some time, pair up with another law student whose going through the same process and proofread each other’s letters! Sometimes, slow and painful processes are made better when done with company.


The chances are, if you’ve been working five hours straight writing and re-writing applications, your brain has gone to sleep and you’re not working at your highest efficiency. Take a break, it can be 15 minutes, an hour, or take a whole day off! Your mind will reset and you’ll be refreshed ready to keep on going when you next sit down to tackle the challenge ahead of you! Whilst this is an important process, it shouldn’t be one that turns into a nightmare due to the pressure, so make sure to take care of yourself along the way.


Can you tell I’ve been watching Suits? The second half of season 6 just went on Netflix, don’t judge me!

I hope this has been helpful – please know that if you ever want some advice you can always reach out to the DLSS Geelong with questions and our committee members will do our best to get you an answer! The Faculty advisers may also be a good place to stop and chat if you have some questions or are looking for advice.

Wanting to brush up on some skills before you get started on a clerkship (which we know you will get, because you’re awesome and we believe in you!), please come attend our two upcoming legal workshops so you’re on top of your game when your supervising lawyers asks you to look into Re Wakim (shout-out to my fellow Civil Procedure family)!

legal workshops.jpg

Studying Abroad

By Alissa Ierardi

If you’re looking for a great way to mix up your degree, then have you considered going overseas? Deakin prides itself on being worldy and this is probably one of the best times in your life to head on your biggest adventure. I know for me, heading over to the USA was the highlight of my degree so far. I had never been overseas let alone on an aeroplane, I didn’t even have a passport! But it was one of the most fulfilling adventures I have ever been on! Going to study at Georgetown university and supporting all the students and The Hoyas! Visiting a maximum security prison in North Carolina and Visiting the United Nations in New York City. Need some more convincing?


Gain a credit point towards your degree
That’s right, an elective unit with no exam and an opportunity to study in overseas in renowned universities and colleges. It helps to mix things up on your transcript and can be a great talking point in possible interviews.

Global Citizenship Program
The more worldy experiences you can gain, the more points you can achieve towards receiving a Global Citizenship certificate. This is something that you can attach to your resume explaining all of your international experiences to potential employers. It’s also just a great personal achievement!

If you don’t want to study overseas but still want to experience another culture or opportunity, Why not volunteer? Volunteering projects can help you expand your understanding of other communities and cultures and introduce you to new languages and people!

But where can I go?
There are currently heaps of overseas programs that you can enrol into! Especially for law! Human Rights Law in Argentina, International Environmental Law in the Netherlands. The possibilities are endless! You can study for two to three weeks or stay on longer! You can check out the Deakin Abroad Portal here to find out more information!


A final note:
If anything studying abroad really helped to bring me out of my shell especially with chatting to students which had come along on the trip with me. We now all share these amazing memories and inside jokes. Hey USA fam,


tar heels

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