Two White Windows

Two White Windows

Two White Windows

High Roller

High Roller

Slip Slop Slap

Slip Slop Slap

I am very pleased to report that I got a job as a criminal defence lawyer and started last week! Woohooo!ūüôā

As one chapter ends, another begins

A¬†little over two years ago I shared with you my joy¬†at being accepted into the Master of Laws (LLM) program at the University of Sydney. I’m happy¬†to report that a little over a week ago I received notification that I had completed my final subject, meaning all things going well I should¬†graduate in the next ceremony later¬†this year. Woooohooooo!

The LLM is the main reason I’ve been particularly quiet on here the last couple of years, as outside of work and exercise I was doing very little apart from studying. I like to think all the hard work paid off, as the lowest mark I received was 79, and my average mark across all subjects was just under 84:

LLM subject results

LLM results

Was the LLM as enjoyable as I thought it would be? Absolutely, although it wasn’t without its challenges.

On the plus side I loved the selection of subjects (some 150 in total) that the University of Sydney offers to LLM students (and if that isn’t enough to¬†satisfy you there is always the option of cross-institutional study). The quality of lecturers¬†was first-class, and the class sizes¬†small enough that I found them really interactive and engaging. On the negative side, and this is more of a personal thing, I felt a lot of stress, pressure and anxiety to perform well, and to perform consistently across all my subjects. Part of this is simply wanting to do my best and push myself, but in the back of my mind there was¬†always the realisation that the graduate lawyer market in Australia is¬†very competitive at the moment and that if I wanted to have any chance of getting¬†a job in law I would need to do well.

Have I done enough to secure¬†a job in law? Have all the years of study, stress and pressure been worth it? I don’t know, as it will only be in the next couple of months that I¬†begin to seriously look for a new job in the hope of following my passion and changing careers,¬†so watch this space!ūüôā

To assist in my job-hunting prospects I recently became an accredited mediator. For those who aren’t familiar, mediation is a largely informal process in which an independent third-party (the mediator) assists parties to identify issues in dispute, develop options, consider alternatives and (hopefully) reach agreement. Mediation is great because it¬†empowers parties to resolve their own disputes, and¬†is generally far less expensive, time-consuming or stressful for parties compared to going to court.

I decided to become an accredited mediator because mediation is increasingly becoming a mandatory part of many pre-trial procedures, meaning that before you even step foot in a courtroom you must have made a genuine attempt at resolving your dispute through mediation (or some other form of alternative dispute resolution).

Becoming an accredited mediator is not a particularly difficult process (a 5-day workshop followed by a video assessment), and the skills that you develop can be used across¬†a wide variety of disputes, not just those that would otherwise end up in court!¬†For further information on mediation or becoming an accredited mediator please¬†see¬†this website. A great book on interests-based negotiating (central to the mediation process) is ‘Getting to Yes‘ by Roger Fisher,¬†William Ury and Bruce Patton.

That’s about it for now. What will I be doing with all my free time now that I’m not studying? Well for a start¬†I’ll be spending¬†a lot of time reading for personal enjoyment. Over the past two years I’ve collated a list of about 100 books I want to read (here for those curious). Other than that I’m looking forward to exercising more and importantly getting back into photography –¬†just wandering the streets, documenting the world as it unfolds in front of me, and of course sharing the results on here!ūüôā

Group Selfie

Group Selfie

Group Selfie

3 Guys, 1 Girl

3 Guys, 1 Girl

You'll have to drag me

You’ll have to drag me

Untitled 12289

Untitled 12289

Under a rainbow

Under a rainbow

Under a rainbow

Roller-girl

Roller-girl

Untitled 12199

Untitled 12199

Prams & kites

Prams & kites

Nepal

Two Nepalese girls

Two Nepalese girls

Clean & dirty

Clean & dirty

Hung out to dry

Hung out to dry

Bhaktapur brickworks

Bhaktapur brickworks

Melamchi labourer

Melamchi labourer

The School in the Sky

The School in the Sky

Collecting yarn

Collecting yarn

The man from Bhaktapur

The man from Bhaktapur

It’s been a while – just over a year to be exact – since my last post! I’ve been shooting much less than I would have liked, as my sole¬†focus has been on finishing my Masters degree.

I recently arrived back home after spending two weeks in Nepal, where I participated in the Himalayan Field School, which was focused on the interaction between development and human rights in developing countries. It was an incredible experience, and my only wish was that I could have stayed longer and gone trekking in the Himalayas. Nepal is a beautiful country and the people are so warm, welcoming and friendly. If you have the opportunity I can definitely recommend it as a holiday destination, albeit one a little more off the beaten track than your typical getaway!

The field school will (hopefully) be my final subject – it all depends on how I go with an upcoming take-home exam and 8,000 word essay. Fingers crossed!ūüôā

Thumbs up

Thumbs up

Thumbs up

Spare some change?

Spare some change?

Bag lady

Bag lady

Shut it

Shut it

Up and down

Up and down

Untitled 11744

Untitled 11744

York & George

York & George

I’m a lawyer.

Earlier this month I was admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of NSW. It was a nice occasion – my parents flew down from Queensland, there was all the pomp and ceremony one would expect, and the ceremony itself was conducted in the Banco Court by the Chief Justice of NSW.

I'm a lawyer!

I’m a lawyer!

A few of the reasons I haven’t posted in a while are that I’ve been ridiculously busy at work, and since my admission I’ve been contemplating my future.

What am I going to do now that I’ve been admitted? The short answer, at least for the time being, is “not much.” I am just about to reach 9 years of service with my current employer. If I quit now I do not receive any long service leave. If I stay until I reach 10 years of service I become entitled to 2 months paid leave.

Whilst I am eager to begin my legal career, I would be stupid to quit now instead of working a further 12 months and receiving 2 months paid leave. The long service leave may also allow me to fulfil a dream of mine to cycle around Australia raising money for charity and talking to children and young people about the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet.

So that’s where I’m at – I will keep working with my current employer for the time being, complete the Master of Laws, receive my long service leave and then see where the road takes me.

Another factor that I have taken into consideration is that job prospects for law gradates at the moment are not particularly good. There seems to be a significant oversupply of law graduates.  This recent submission by the Law Society of South Australia provides a good overview of the problems facing new lawyers. For an in-depth discussion from the perspective of students/graduates see these three Whirlpool forum posts РPart 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone – may 2014 be full of love, joy and happiness for you all!ūüôā

How

How

How

Love lock

Love lock

Huddle

Huddle

Freerunning

Freerunning

Dusty under the bridge

Dusty under the bridge

Aerial view

Aerial view

Through the window

Through the window

Digging at the cemetery

Digging at the cemetery 

Haven’t been very active recently – apologies. ¬†I had an essay due followed by a take-home exam, then I rebuilt my little macbook to the latest version (OS X Mavericks) and had to reinstall Lightroom etc… and this week I’ve been a little under the weather, so I haven’t shot anywhere near as much as I would have liked!

Rainbow Observer

Rainbow observer

Rainbow observer

Jumper

Jumper

Shapes

Shapes

Bronte Sunbathers

Bronte Sunbathers

Windswept

Windswept

Windswept

The Biker

The Biker

Bromance

Bromance

Little one

Little one

Put your feet up

Put your feet up

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