I began my Aurora internship as part of the Aurora Internship Program, with native title Barrister, Susan Phillips, knowing very little about native title law and having done only a little substantive legal work outside of university. Yet from day one I was briefed on the matter I would spend most of my time working on, and started analysing anthropological reports and lay evidence and conducting legal research. The work I completed throughout my internship was intellectually stimulating, and I constantly learnt new things about native title, administrative law and Indigenous people. I gained invaluable experience working independently, yet Susan was always willing to help me and teach me new things.
I not only gained crucial legal research and analysis skills, but also caught a glimpse of what working at the bar is like. I was fortunate enough to attend several case management conferences with solicitors and barristers, and accompany Susan to a directions hearing in Brisbane. The internship has very much affirmed for me that I want to practice law. In fact, having observed the passion and diligence with which Susan approached all of her matters I am considering becoming a barrister (something I never thought I’d be interested in!).
Susan was such a kind and supportive mentor, and took an active interest in developing my legal understanding and interests. One of the highlights of the internship was attending the 2017 ACCEL Environmental Law Year in Review and the Gilbert + Tobin Constitutional Law conference. I am very thankful for Susan’s generosity, and am grateful for all the lovely lunches she took me to.
In sum, my Aurora Internship was an amazing experience. I learnt so much about native title law, administrative law and civil procedure, and gained invaluable legal research and evidentiary analysis skills. But crucially, I gained a deeper appreciation for the complexity of native title claims and litigation, and how the law interacts with Indigenous people and their land more broadly.
I would highly recommend the internship to any law student or graduate who has a passion for social justice and would like to gain legal experience in native title.
For more information, please visit http://auroraproject.com.au/about-applying-internship Applications for the for the Aurora Internship Program winter 2017 round of internships are open from now through the 31st March, 2017.