High-achieving graduates Anna Murray and Ian Harris tie for top spot in prestigious law prize.
Deakin Law School (DLS) graduates Ian Harris and Anna Murray are co-winners of the prestigious Supreme Court Prize for best student in 2018.
Presented at a ceremony on 10 April, the Supreme Court Prize is awarded to the highest-achieving law graduates from Victorian law schools and is recognised as a hallmark of outstanding excellence and intellectual ability.
Both Ian and Anna came to DLS from other professional backgrounds – Ian was a chemical engineer and Anna a physiotherapist.
While Ian knew that he was achieving ‘good results’ during his studies, winning the Supreme Court Prize was a complete surprise he says.
‘Personally, it’s provided me with validation for one of the biggest life decisions I have ever made, which was to leave my career and return to university to study law. Professionally, it proves to me that I have what it takes to work at the top of the profession.’
Now in a graduate position with international law firm Ashurst, he is completing the first of three six-month law rotations.
‘My first rotation is in Resources and Utilities in the Corporate Projects Team. So far, I’ve had a diverse range of responsibilities … there has been a steep learning curve, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge. The team at Ashurst makes it the best environment I’ve ever worked in.’
Acknowledging his partner, friends and family who supported him throughout his studies, Ian is also grateful for ‘many DLS staff’ who provided him with inspiration.
‘They also deserve a lot of praise for putting up with me asking a lot of difficult questions in lectures and tutes! In general, Deakin has been fantastic and very accommodating of mature-age students.’
Anna came to DLS after a career in the UK as physiotherapist and during her studies, worked as a law clerk in Slater and Gordon’s medical law team which allowed her to develop strong connections in the industry.
She’s now working as a graduate lawyer with Lander and Rogers and currently rotating through the General Insurance team.
‘I am enjoying the diversity of the work, from working in medical indemnity to financial lines’ claims. My role has included attending court, meeting with clients, completing research and drafting correspondence. What I enjoy the most is the people I work with, including my fellow graduates. It is a very supportive atmosphere coupled with interesting and challenging work,’ she says.
Like Ian, Anna is grateful for the support she received during her studies and says winning the Supreme Court Prize is a ‘huge honour’ – especially when she considers the calibre of past winners.
‘It is lovely that I can celebrate this with my family and friends as they did all the behind-the-scenes work to get me through my second degree. I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful Deakin staff and students, including the PALS lecturers, who helped guide and support me through this degree.’