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Media Release

September 09 2011

UniSA Law Students to benefit from new Minter Ellison Scholarship

Minter Ellison Law Scholarship winner, Ben Clarke with Angela Martin from Minter Ellison.UniSA is continuing its commitment to equity and support for students with the awarding of the inaugural Minter Ellison Law Scholarship.

The legal firm Minter Ellison has established the scholarship, valued at up to $16,000 ($4000 per year for a maximum of four years), which will support full-time students from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in the South Australian legal profession.

These include Indigenous students, students from a non-English speaking background, students who are financially disadvantaged, those from a rural or remote location and students with a disability. The new scholarship is one of three equity-based awards offered by the School of Law.

Nigel McBride, Managing Partner of Minter Ellison, says the firm has a history of supporting people in need in the community and is proud to provide funding for the scholarship.

“We would like the recipient to develop a practical understanding of the legal profession not only through their study, but also through contact with a group of junior Minter Ellison lawyers who will share experiences with the student,’’ Mr McBride says. “By giving someone this opportunity, we hope that they can inspire those in a similar situation to go to university and pursue their dreams.’’

Professor Paul Fairall, Foundation Dean of Law at UniSA, says the scholarship will bring many benefits to successful students.

“To win a scholarship like the Minter Ellison has present and future value,’’ Professor Fairall says. “It will provide money for books and rent and will look good on the resume. We are very pleased to be able to offer such support in partnership with our external donors.’’

The winner of the inaugural scholarship is Ben Clarke. Clarke, 18, from Mawson Lakes, says the scholarship will help him and his family enormously by reducing the burden of HECS debt incurred through his degree.

Mr Clarke says one of the main challenges of studying law is finding a firm to work in once the degree is completed. “By being awarded the Minter Ellison Law Scholarship, I have been able to get my foot in the door, providing me with something to focus on and work towards, and without sounding too presumptuous, to hopefully one day work at the Minter Ellison law firm.’’

UniSA has other links with the legal industry, including a Legal Professional and Community Service Experience course offered to final year law students, which gives them work experience with an Adelaide legal firm, a placement at a community service legal clinic or an internship with an NGO.

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