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DLS staff, students and alumni take to ‘the Tan’ for the popular annual legal charity event.

Sponsored by Deakin Law School, the 2017 Law Institute Victoria (LIV) Legal Fun Run saw more than 750 legal professionals, academics and law students gather in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens on Monday 20 November for an evening of exercise, fun and networking. 

Now in its 36th year, the annual LIV Legal Fun Run was created to support the health and wellbeing of legal professionals and also raises funds for the Wellbeing and the Law Foundation (WATL) – a charity that’s dedicated to improving the mental health of legal professionals. 

In warm spring weather, the participants competed in either an eight or four kilometre run – or walk – around the celebrated ‘Tan Track’ before enjoying a delicious BBQ dinner.

A strong contingent of DLS staff, students and alumni took part including Deakin alumnus and LIV Young Lawyers’ president Phoebe Blank (TressCox Lawyers, Melbourne) who said running is one of her favourite pursuits.

‘The reason I love running, and why it’s so fitting that the LIV holds this event, is because running teaches you to keep going, even when you want to give up. Reaching the end is a truly rewarding experience! Running, or any exercise, is just so important for our mental health – particularly lawyers who feel the stress and pressure of work.’

As well as promoting stress-beating exercise, the event is also an important networking opportunity she said.

‘It’s where the profession comes together to get away from the office. I really enjoy bumping into colleagues, barrister or partners of firms in exercise gear as it all feels like we’re all on the same level.’

LIV’s CEO, Nerida Wallace said it was wonderful to see so many legal practitioners and law students running and walking around the Royal Botanic Gardens to help raise funds for the WATL Foundation. 

‘We are delighted to have partnered with Deakin Law School and Lex Medicus for the 36th Legal Fun Run and Walk and to make such a valuable contribution to the legal community. We all have an important role to play in caring for our colleagues and raising awareness about health and wellbeing issues.’

In a post-event address, Deakin law academic Dr Neera Bhatia thanked the LIV for organising a ‘fantastic’ event.

‘DLS is very proud to be a major sponsor of this year’s Fun Run and this has given us great opportunity to engage with you. DLS is ranked no. 3 in Victoria and we are one of the largest law schools with over 800 commencing undergraduate law students in 2017,’ she said. ‘We are always looking to engage with the legal profession to foster professional relationships and we look forward to working with LIV next year.’

DLS sponsored prizes for both the fastest individual male and female runners in the eight kilometre run which were won by Michael Bishop and Cara Foot respectively.