Law scholarship opens up world of opportunity
by Katrina Phelps
For final year law student Ben Clarke, a Minter Ellison industry scholarship has opened up a world of overseas work experience opportunities including a placement in Malaysia.
Since successfully applying for a scholarship provided by law firm Minter Ellison in his first year of university, Ben has used the scholarship towards his university fees and to assist him in undertaking work experience in Malaysia and London, as well as go on a student exchange in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The equity scholarship has helped enormously,” Ben said. “It’s taken away the burden of leaving uni with a massive HECS debt and has given me the chance to pursue intern and work experience opportunities.
“I realised early on in my study that I needed more than just a degree behind me so I actively pursued work experience opportunities in order to increase my chances of obtaining a graduate position at the end of my degree.”
Ben recently met with Minter Ellison staff in their Adelaide office and impressed them with how he’s used the scholarship to benefit his future law career.
“We have been inspired by Ben’s ambitious attitude to not only his studies, but his overseas work adventures,” Minter Ellison Business Development Manager Sophie Doyle said.
“Ben is an impressive student and is sure to succeed in his chosen area of law – we wish him all the best.”
Minter Ellison started their SA/NT Law Scholarship in 2010 with the aim of providing support to a student from UniSA’s then new Law School.
“Minter Ellison has a strong community investment program backed by our Foundation and the scholarship provides us with an opportunity to make a significant difference at a really personal level,” Doyle said.
For Ben, who keeps busy helping his mum and five younger siblings, the scholarship has certainly made a difference to him and to what he has been able to achieve at university. The 21-year-old from Mawson Lakes travelled to Malaysia in his second year of university to pursue an internship that focused on litigation and dispute resolution.
“The internship in Malaysia was a big stepping stone in my legal career,” Ben said. “It had a flow-on effect as I was able to gain further work experience from then on.
“Last year I studied in Geneva in Switzerland for a month as part of an exchange program run by Murdoch University.
“Geneva is the international centre of human rights so as well as being able to learn about and experience a different culture, I was able to immerse myself in a different area of legal practice.
“Following that exchange, I travelled to London to undertake further work experience with a criminal law barrister for two weeks.
“It was a great opportunity to travel overseas and undertake work experience in a different atmosphere and focus on building my practical legal skills.”
Ben is now focusing on securing a graduate lawyer position in Adelaide when he finishes his law degree later this year.
UniSA scholarships and grants help more than 2500 students every year. For more details, see the scholarships website.
Martine Feckner (Senior Associate), UniSA student Ben Clarke, Brenton Priestley (Senior Associate) and Lucy Radowicz.