Voir Dire : Inspiration Edition
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INSPIRATION EDITIONApril 2015
UNSW Law Society Magazine
Law school is difficult. Whether youre a 1st year undergrad, 3rd year JD or a random non-law studying individual who happened to pick up this magazine, youve probably clued into that fact. When it comes to actually dealing with this reality we all have our own survival mechanisms. For some this involves procrastination in the form of exercise, food, friendship or the digital pursuit of cute
animal pictures (see exhibit A below).This issue is about all those ation words we need in our life - inspiration, dedication, motivation (you get the idea). We all came to UNSW law for very different reasons; for some, their degree will be the gateway to a 7+ figure salary. For others law school is about making a difference and helping the disadvantaged. If thats your thing check out A Close Shave (Page 9), where we discuss the work of the Aboriginal Legal Service and the recent federal budget talks. Maybe a particular individual inspired your career path and you want nothing more than to be Leslie Knope or one of the other figures we talk about in Lawspiration (Page 16). Or maybe all you need to get through your degree is some inspirational study music from Rohans Recs (Page 15). Hope you enjoy the issue, and see you next month!Emily Haworth | Editor of Voir Dire firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR & DESIGNER
Simon McNamara, Ann Emmanuel, Madeleine Te o , S a m i J o s h i , Rohan Hora, Brittney Rigby, Bas i l Na imet
V I C E - P R E S I D E N T
Simon McNamara & Katerina Jovanovska
All images used within th is pub l icat ion are available under a creative commons license or with the express permision of the owner.
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Law Society BlogWhats new?
Contents5 | Presidents PodiumSimon discusses maintaining motivation as a law student.6 | Whats Happening in Law?Changes in law for Australia and around the world.10 | A Close ShaveMadeleine talks about the work of the Aboriginal Legal Service and the recently retracted federal budget cuts.14 | Agony AuntGot a problem? Agony Aunt can help.15 | Rohans RecsSome songs to get you inspired.16 | Lawspiration7 inspirational legal figures who are awesome at what they do.20 | Inspiration at the BarWe talk with lawyer Russell Sweet about life as a barrister and employment for mature age students.
Check out these articles and more at http://www.unswlawsoc.org/blog
I Dont Know How She Does It Q&AFind out how HD student Natalie Hodgson does it all. From academic tips to advice shed give her first year self, read this to glean some great study tips. Some More Words About Mental Illness | Brittney RigbyMany things are said about mental illness. Here is a candid, personal and moving account from one Law student. Maintaining Your Sanity During Your Law Degree | Sarah ParkLaw student life is hard - dont let anyone tell you otherwise. Here are some hints and tips to help you navigate the vicissitudes of being a law student.
Motivation in a student often follows a very simple pattern. Its the start of semester, you arrive at university and you are absolutely pumped. Motivation levels are at an all time high and you think Yes, Land Law is something that I can get behind for 13 weeks. You fool.
Fast forward two hours, and motivation levels are dwindling at around the same levels you left them at the close of last year. And from here onwards, we have brief spikes of motivation and then return to our inactivity until the next one, something that resembles a heartbeat, but with three weeks between beats.
I work as a presenter for a study skills research company and recently asked a student mid-seminar what these spikes represented, expecting a confident Exams in response. She shouted back Hormones! to riotous laughter. I had a giggle as well, because I thought it was a response not far from the truth.
As law students we face a large workload. The only other thing we spend more time doing than work is telling everyone on Facebook precisely how much work we do. When it comes to workloads, many
law students seem to breeze through it and never bat an eyelid. This happens for one of three reasons; three separate things you might hear from a student. The first is they genuinely enjoy the academic rigour of complex work and get a sense of achievement from grappling with intellectual questions. The second is that they just dont talk about their struggle in completing the work at all. The third is that theyre lying about it. Interestingly you never hear a top student say, Im just an academic weapon and I go around killing exams.
I fall in to category two. I tend not to talk about study, I find it boring and I need human engagement to stay positive. Dont get me wrong, I love to read and enjoy academic work but when starting university a few years ago,
I noticed that the more work I had to do, the less likely I was to do it. I spent hours with my head buried in the sand like an Ostrich except by sand I mean fridge. This occurs for a very simple reason, which is backed by the current research on this area.
Students - and in particular law students are study-centric. If youre surprised by this, I have concerns. They prioritise their life around the work they have to complete to perform academically. They tend to pride themselves on their academic results
and therefore prioritise study in their schedules. In that lies a problem, which is that I have never come home from a big day at university, having done nothing other than work and feeling a little tired and then said Awesome, time to pump out three hours of readings and notes. It just wont happen.
I can only ever work when Im happy. I will only ever sit down and do some work in a state where I feel like Im not simply living for my marks. And for me, herein lies the solution: doing something every day that makes you feel human. It can as simple as playing a sport (where endorphins, our friendly hormone returns) or as embarrassing as being caught by a stranger singing like an idiot to Uptown Funk blasting in your car. Youll get home with a grin on your face. The act of sitting down and doing a bit of extra work suddenly isnt so bad.
Im not an HD average student. But I have noticed that my marks across a semester are directly proportional to weird extraneous things like how fit I feel, how much music Im playing and the state of my personal relationships. The animating idea I like to go back to, and you might find it too, is an aim to structure your life around things that are not work to get a little more work done. Invest a little more in yourself to accept the dividends for your marks later.
Simon McNamara | Law Society Co-President
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?notify authorities of planned demonstrations, and escalate to 600, 000 euros were unauthorised protests take place near key infrastructure. The measures come after several protests in February against austerity measures and attempts to limit access to abortions, which had millions of Spaniards protesting in the streets.
TANZANIA Limits on foreignersTanzanian parliament has approved the Non-Citizens Employment Regulations Bill, in an attempt to curb the influx in foreign
workers, especially from China, and respond to the high unemployment rate. The bill requires employers who recruit foreign workers to create a succession plan for local workers to take over these jobs. The Bill also increases the discretionary power of the Labour Commissioner in relation to work permits of non-citizens.
UNITED STATES Blurred Lines of copyright laws Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke have been ordered to pay $US7.3 million to Marvin Gayes estate after a Los Angeles jury concluded that their 2013 hit Blurred Lines infringed the copyright of Gayes Got
to Give It Up from 1977. Williams recently commented on the outcome, saying that the decision will freeze the creative process in litigation. The songwriters are considering whether to appeal, while Gayes family continues to seek an injunction to prevent Blurred Lines from being sold or performed, while the parties negotiate royalties.
SPAIN Anti-protest legislation The Spanish government has proposed legislation, expected to be ratified next month, that rights activists warn will significantly limit citizens freedom of association and expression. The laws include fines of up to 600 euros for failure to
Around The World
Lawyers need to keep up Michael Williams, senior partner at Gilbert + Tobin has warned that it may become a requirement in the near future that lawyers have a minimum standard of technological know-how in order to practice, as businesses and even courts move to embrace soft over hard copy documents. A recent survey, commissioned by software provider Nitro, has found that law firms still rely heavily on hard copy documents and filing cabinets, while just under a third surveyed had chosen to adopt the eSignature application.
Compo claims from Nauru? The Federal Governments Moss Review into the alleged toxic culture of abuse in the offshore detention centre on Nauru was released on the 20th March 2015. The Review found evidence supporting allegations of sexual and physical abuse, including an apparent trade of sexual favours for marijuana and personal gain. The Australian Lawyers