Message from the Dean

By James C. Hathaway
Dean, Melbourne Law School
William Hearn Professor of Law

Dear alumni and friends

My colleagues and I at Melbourne Law School are fully committed to producing graduates who are ready and able to make a meaningful contribution as they enter the sophisticated, complex and often transnational environment of contemporary legal practice.

To achieve this, we have established, in addition to our curricular innovations, the first specialised Careers Office for law students in Australia. This Office offers programs and experiences designed to extend students beyond classroom learning and to support their transition from student to work life.

Earlier this year our Careers Office introduced a mentoring program that offers each first year student the opportunity to be paired with an experienced legal practitioner. Already, students are extolling the benefits of these mentorships. Not only have they often formed close relationships with their mentors, but they have gained real-world insights and received valuable career guidance.

To complement the mentor program, we provide an extensive series of guest lectures. These lectures give students the chance to consider different perspectives from practitioners engaged in a wide range of legal work.

For students who want to gain experience in a particular area of law, our Careers Office maintains a register of four to six-week internships in diverse settings across the public, private, government and community sectors. Students are encouraged to study overseas for a semester, work at a legal service, participate in one of our international mooting teams or work for one of the scholarly law journals edited in the Law School.

Supporting all these practical experiences, we also aim to expose students to the work of leading legal practitioners and academics.

Recently, in recognition of a career long contribution to the law, the School awarded former High Court Justice Michael Kirby an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. We have also recently strengthened our global focus by establishing the Michael D.

Kirby Chair of International Law, and I am pleased to announce Professor Anne Orford took up this chair in July.

If you would like to join us in supporting our students through mentorship, a guest lecture or in offering an internship or scholarship opportunity, please fill in your details on the slip inside the back cover of this magazine.

I hope you find this edition of MLS News engaging and informative.


James C. Hathaway, Dean and William Hearn Professor of Law

This article originally appeared in MLS News, Issue 2, September 2009.