Honouring 160 years

By Lauren Smith

As Melbourne Law School celebrates 160 years of legal education in 2017, perhaps there is no better way to tell our story than by reflecting on the extraordinary contributions and achievements of our community.

In March, MLS welcomed Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau AM (LLB(Hons) 1973), University of Melbourne Chancellor Allan Myers AC QC (BA 1969, LLB(Hons) 1970, LLD 2012) and more than 250 alumni and friends to the launch of our newly installed Honour Boards.

The Honour Boards celebrate and acknowledge a strong tradition of leadership and service among MLS alumni, not only to the Law School and the legal profession but to the wider community.

Counted among the names are former prime ministers, Victorian premiers, governors and governors-general, chief justices of Australia, chief justices of Victoria, High Court judges, university chancellors, Rhodes Scholars, Supreme Court Prize winners and Law School leaders, including presidents of the Law Students' Society and editors of the Melbourne University Law Review.

Governor Dessau congratulated those whose wonderful accomplishments are reflected by the Honour Boards.

"They (the Honour Boards) tell us of the strong sense of public duty this school has fostered in its students,” she said.

“Its graduates have aspired to serve the people. That is the most important boast that any university faculty can make.”

The Governor concluded her remarks by reflecting on the values and ethos that underpin a law degree from Melbourne Law School.

The ultimate ideal of the lawyer – to safeguard the rule of law – is not something limited to the practice of law. It is a commitment that a graduate from this law school can take into every part of their private, professional and community life.

In concluding the evening’s formal proceedings, Chancellor Allan Myers reflected on his own memories of MLS and paid tribute to the important role a legal education has played in his life.

“Most of us here who attended the Law School would say upon reflection, ‘I would not have been able to do what I have done without the Law School’,” he said.

Banner image: Professor Carolyn Evans, MLS Dean, Mr Allan Myers, AC QC, Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau, AC, Governor of Victoria, and Mr Anthony Howard QC.

Image credit: supplied.

This article originally appeared in MLS News, Issue 17, May 2017