Gabriella Coote

Social Science
Barristers/Legal Firms
Summer 2017

I completed my Aurora Internship at Campbell Law in Adelaide, South Australia. This has certainly been one of the highlights of my recently completed law degree. I have a more realistic understanding of native title law thanks to my internship at Campbell Law.

Campbell Law is a small law firm in the CBD of Adelaide. The firm deals with a variety of legal topics including: Aboriginal heritage and native title, business and corporate law, criminal law, employment law, property law and public law.

My work at Campbell Law entailed legal research on processes relevant to cases which the firm is undertaking. This included research on processes required for discovery applications in the district court. Pre-action, and standard discovery became a major part of my research. I found it very valuable to learn as it is definitely information which can be utilised in my future career.

I spent a lot of time delving into the intricacies of native title law. I found historical research especially rewarding, as it has given me a new look on the historical background of Adelaide and South Australia.  

There were plenty of challenges though with this internship. I was certainly not used to working full time at a computer. It took me a few weeks to really get used to a full work day. It was hard to stay focused on the same task for such long periods of time. Thankfully, the work environment was very friendly, so this helped a lot.

I found the research content to be constantly challenging. I’ve found native title law to be a never-ending learning experience. As soon as I think I have my head around it, something new comes up. By having challenging, important work to do, I really learned a lot about indigenous culture and history, especially in South Australia.  

As a final note, I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to complete this internship. I have completed two internships with Aurora now, and both have been incredibly rewarding. I’ve formed excellent friendships and I’ve learned a lot about legal practice, and native title law. I feel like I have learnt a great deal about law, and government processes over this time. I have gained good habits – through having the chance to work full time. A highlight for me was being able to attend a court appearance, as it’s something I’ve never experienced as part of my law degree. I’ve also met a number of interesting, insightful, intelligent people, who share common interests in social and environmental justice with me. I’m grateful for the Aurora Internship Program – and hope to see it continue providing these experiences to students and graduates in the future.