William Cernev

Barristers/Legal Firms
Summer 2019


Over November and December of 2018, I completed a legal internship through the Aurora Internship Program. The Aurora Project works to place university students and recent graduates in Indigenous organisations in the areas of legal services, anthropology and other social sciences.

I undertook a placement with Barristers Andrew Collett and Simon Blewett at Selby St Chambers. The variety and volume of briefs arriving at Selby St Chambers means that work is plentiful, and it is possible to work on a range of different matters. I found myself assisting with cases ranging from industrial relations and work place injuries, to native title and stolen children claims. From the first day of placement, I was captivated, engaged and eager to learn from the depth of experience brought to the Bar by Simon and Andrew.

I found that one of the best ways to learn about practicing as a barrister, was by talking to Andrew and Simon over a Bahn Mi from the Selby St Chambers eatery of choice, ‘Vietnamese Laundry’. Throughout my five week internship, I ate more than 20 Bahn Mis (I have no regrets), and I can honestly say that the Bahn Mis close to Adelaide University, pale in comparison to the masterclass in Bahn Mi construction that occurs at the Vietnamese Laundry.

When I wasn’t eating Bahn Mis, I was preparing documents for stolen children claims, attending meetings with solicitors, or writing up chronologies and drafting submissions. The range of work made me realise how interesting practicing as a barrister can be, as the range of briefs means that often you have matters with different law firms, in different courts, in completely different areas of law. This affirmed my aspiration to one day practice as a barrister and working with Andrew and Simon gave me a great introduction to how case management works, as well as how important it is to develop a strong network in the legal community.

Undertaking the internship throughout December gave me the opportunity to attend the Selby St Christmas Party, in attendance were a number of past interns, and it was a great opportunity to see how the Aurora Internship had shaped people’s future careers, ranging from working with unions, law firms, or as Judge’s associates. The past interns all reflected on their time at Selby St Chambers as an amazing experience.

I strongly recommend law students and graduates with an interest in legal practice and social justice apply for an Aurora Internship. In particular, for students interested in practicing at the independent bar, you should apply for Selby St Chambers, you will have an absolutely amazing experience.