In 2019, Sydney Criminal Lawyers set up a scholarship for law students in New South Wales and the ACT who are passionate about pursuing a career in criminal law, with the aim of providing financial assistance and support to help to exceptional penultimate and final year students to achieve their goals in the field of criminal law.
The inaugural scholarship has now been awarded to Ella Parkes-Talbot who finished her studies at the end of last year and will commence her post-admission journey by working as a judge's associate. Following this position, which has an initial tenure of one year, Ella is considering working in a position where she can provide help to less fortunate people, such as a job with the Aboriginal Legal Service or Legal Aid Commission, or perhaps even going back to University to undertake a PhD.
With a strong interest in criminal law and social justice, Ella has long-term aspirations to eventually work in criminal defence, but at this stage is keeping her options as open as possible to gain a variety of experience.
Ella says her interest in criminal law began when she first started to understand the wide-reaching effects of the carceral state in exacerbating disadvantage and entrenching inequality.
"I am fascinated by the logics of a system which ostensibly operates to protect the community but which in reality seems to tend towards community division and targeting", Ella says.
"The intellectual exercise of considering how and why certain criminal legal frameworks have come to be, and the socio-political/historical reasons for these, is really interesting to me. Further to that, I am interested in criminal defence specifically because I don't believe the present system is functioning as intended".
Ella's interests in digitally-facilitated crime led her to complete an honours research project about gendered violence on the internet, and the criminal law's capacity to respond to this unique area of harm.
Investing in the future of criminal law
"As a firm, Sydney Criminal Lawyers has a strong interest in nurturing legal talent," says Principal Ugur Nedim. "We have set up the scholarship to aspiring lawyers with a strong interest in social justice to achieve their goals. Supporting exceptional students is critical in ensuring a robust legal profession that's providing for the needs of the community and promoting social justice."
About the scholarship
The Criminal Law Scholarship is awarded based on a range of factors, including passion for criminal law, future objectives in the field, experience in voluntary positions and academic performance.
Ella's academic results, as well as her work as Bar Book Project Coordinator, her work as a researcher and writer for two chapters in the Public Defender's 'Bugmy' Barbook Project and her volunteer role within the Aboriginal Legal Service while studying impressed the Sydney Criminal Lawyers team, who are certain she will evolve to be an invaluable member of our nation's legal profession.
"It is an enormous honour to be recognised in the field that I want to work within, by a firm as prestigious as Sydney Criminal Lawyers," says Ella. "I am really grateful for the opportunity and the financial assistance and I wholeheartedly encourage all students who meet the criteria to apply for next year."
Ella's prize money of $5,000 will contribute to her College of Law fees.
How to Apply for the 2020 scholarship.
Applicants must have Australian citizenship or Australian permanent residency and enrolled in their penultimate or final year in an LL.B, Juris Doctor or Legal Practitioners Admission Board course, or undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, in New South Wales or the ACT.
To apply, email a covering letter, resume and academic record to Mr Ugur Nedim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include all contact information.
Applications close at 11.59pm, 30 November 2020.
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