2015 Student Essay Competition

“What is the greatest current challenge to the practice of law in Australia or New Zealand?”

FullSizeRender We are pleased to announce that The College of Law Alumni Association 2015 Student Essay Competition ($3000) has been won by Naomi McClellan from Victoria, Australia.

Two runner up prizes of $500 were also awarded to Veena Patel (New Zealand) and Nathan Saad (New South Wales, Australia).

The judges were impressed with the originality and erudition of Veena’s entry on the need to make the New Zealand profession as diverse as the community it represents.

The judges were also impressed with Nathan’s call for the profession to help mitigate the appalling over-representation of indigenous prisoners in Australian gaols.

However, in selecting a winner, it was impossible to go past Naomi McClellan’s thought-provoking and passionate polemic regarding ‘the state’ as the greatest challenge to legal practice in Australia or New Zealand – with especial reference to the current handling of refugees and limits on commentary by professionals who work with them.

Some may disagree with Naomi’s argument, but her essay was interesting, edgy and above all original. We don’t mind essay topics being controversial, as starting conversations is exactly what the College’s essay prize is supposed to achieve.

Read the winning and shortlisted essays below.

Doug Humphreys
President, Alumni Association

Rebecca Fogerty, Alumni Association (Queensland)
Randhir Amoganathan, Alumni Association (Western Australia)
Adrian Deans, Director, Academic Policy & Quality (College of Law)

Shortlisted Essays

Naomi McClellan, The Ultimate Test of Civilisation
Nathan Saad, Indigenous Imprisonment: Challenges to the Practice of Law
Veena Patel, Pushing the Needle: Making Legal Practice in New Zealand Super-diverse
Timothy Brand, Let the Law Be Heard: Speak My Tongue
Anthea Burton, Protecting Pro Bono At Home
Byron Malcolm, Social Media and Its Impact on the Australian Legal Profession


My Masters in Commercial Litigation has really helped my career in law.

Tannie Kwong

Commercial Litigation

Masters Graduate