Law a university for the real world


25 May 2018

The Faculty was delighted to welcome 250 students, staff and guests at the 2018 QUT Faculty of Law Prize Ceremony on Tuesday 22 May.

Professor John Humphrey, Executive Dean of the QUT Faculty of Law, congratulated the students on their academic and community achievements in 2017. Guests also welcomed Darryl McDonough, winner of the Outstanding Alumni Award for the Faculty of Law and the 2017 QUT Alumnus of the Year, as guest speaker.

Darryl has more than 30 years of experience as a corporate lawyer and senior executive. He was offered partnership at Clayton Utz the day after he was admitted as a solicitor, having worked with the firm for two years while studying. Darryl has since served in several executive and non-executive roles, and is a great example of where a law degree from QUT can lead.

In his speech, Darryl encouraged students to work hard and to be involved in the community.

“I recommend to all of you to get as much and as varied experiences as possible within or outside the law: no matter the type of experience it will stand you in good stead in the future,” said Darryl.

“I encourage each of you to volunteer and to become involved with organisations relevant to your chosen career. There are a great many industry associations you can join and by actively participating in their programs you will develop and build a network of contacts and raise your profile."

A great example of such wide extra-curricular involvement is the recipient of this year’s Tom Cain Trophy for Outstanding Achievement, Jack Nolan. This prize is awarded annually to a graduate of the Bachelor of Laws course who achieves their award with honours greater than or equal to Second Class Division A, and who has demonstrated high achievement in extra-curricular activities.

Jack shared his experiences at university with the audience, ranging from volunteering with the LGBTI Legal Service in Brisbane to launching an artificial intelligence start-up in Los Angeles, all while studying at QUT.

“In my early classes I heard a lot regarding the benefit of studying law for the skills it gives you beyond practising as a lawyer, and I didn’t quite understand what this meant. In retrospect, these skills have proven to be for me, the most valuable part of my studies,” said Jack.

“Since graduating a few months ago, I’ve started work as an investment banker in Sydney. While I don’t practice the law, it’s rare a week will go by where something I learnt in my degree doesn’t come in handy. QUT and the Law School have some phenomenal opportunities outside of study available to students and it’s by taking advantage of these that you can truly see the value in what we learn in the classroom.”

The Faculty aims to continue to support law and justice students in their studies, encourage students’ personal academic potential, and provide opportunities to engage with industry and community sponsors.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

We also appreciate the support of the Connolly, Leiboff and Dick families.

The Faculty would like to once again congratulate all student recipients on their achievements. Photos from the event can be found on the Faculty’s Flickr account.

If you or your organisation is interested in sponsoring a prize, please contact us.

Professor John Humphrey, Executive Dean of the QUT Faculty of Law, welcoming guests.

Guest speaker, Darryl McDonough, former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Partner of Clayton Utz.

Tom Cain Mooting Trophy winner Bianca Stringer with Tom Cain Trophy for Outstanding Achievement winner Jack Nolan.