The Law School's Moot Court
The Law School's Moot Court
12 June 2017

The highly-regarded Lawyer’s Weekly has named 10 young University of Queensland law alumni as finalists in the nation’s top 30 young lawyers.

The annual Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 awards identify the best young lawyers across Australia who are striving for professional excellence within their specific practice areas.

Head of School and Academic Dean of Law Professor Derrington said the nomination of the young guns from the TC Beirne School of Law placed UQ third nationwide as the best nurturing ground for aspiring legal eagles.

“It is wonderful to see recent graduates of the School making an impact on the legal profession so early in their careers and I offer my hearty congratulations to our 10 finalists one of whom, Patrick Turner, was nominated for two categories,” Professor Derrington said.

“A nomination in the 30 under 30 represents industry-wide recognition for legal ability and can be a springboard for further career progression.”

Professor Sarah DerringtonProfessor Derrington said the School had seen sweeping changes in recent years, including a reduction of student intake and an expansive renovation to the historic sandstone building it has been housed in since 1948.

“At UQ, our approach is radically different from all of the other institutions in Australia,” Professor Derrington said.

 “I think the reduced intake of students is working really well. The students are certainly more engaged. This year is the first year of the new curriculum with the new pedagogy.

“We took 185 students in the first year and they are in groups of no more than 35 for their first year courses and at the moment, without any formal compulsion, there is a 95 per cent attendance rate of classes - that is phenomenal.

“The students realise that if they are not in attendance they will miss out on the opportunity to discuss and debate. They’re not being lectured to at UQ. There is a dialogue between the seminar leader and the students and a dialogue between the groups.The Law School, inside the Forgan Smith building, UQ

“Installing this model was done after quite an extensive consultation with the profession and it was clear that the profession was telling us that graduates from all universities were losing the soft skills and the ability to talk to other practitioners and to clients.

Lawyers Weekly, regarded as Australia’s most prestigious legal publication, is published daily and reaches over 110,000 lawyers.

The 30 Under 30 UQ School of Law alumni and their category nomination are listed below:

  • Louise Young – MinterEllison (Construction and Real Estate)
  • Melinda Ranson - Merthyr Law (Dispute Resolution)
  • Ashley Burgess - Sparke Helmore Lawyers (Government)
  • Marlowe Mitchell - Herbert Smith Freehills (Government)
  • Jeffrey Sheehy - DLA Piper (Government)
  • Sheree O'Dwyer - Griffith Hack (Intellectual Property)
  • Emile McPhee - McCullough Robertson Lawyers (Pro Bono)
  • Patrick Turner - Maurice Blackburn Lawyers (Pro Bono and Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety)
  • Kate McLean - Clayton Utz (Projects, Energy and Resources)
  • Caroline Ee - McInnes Wilson Lawyers (Taxation)

The winners of the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 will be announced on 23 June in Sydney.

Media: Grant Stockwell,, +61 7 3346 0700, +62 (0) 455 464 802.