UNIVERSITY of Queensland Alumna Ailsa McKeon has taken up the position of Associate to the Honourable Justice Roslyn G Atkinson AO of the Supreme Court of Queensland, after graduating from UQ's TC Beirne School of Law with first class honours.
McKeon, who completed a dual bachelor of laws/arts, majoring in Spanish and peace and conflict studies, began her challenging new role in January.
She aspires to be called to the Bar one day, but is also considering postgraduate study abroad to pursue her interest in international human rights and criminal law.
A stand-out feature of McKeon's university career, aside from an enviable GPA, was her involvement with the law school's Pro Bono Centre.
She completed several distinct pro bono activities, including a placement with the Youth Advocacy Centre and participation in Caxton Legal Centre's Manning Street Project.
"All of my placements were quite different," says McKeon.
"I enjoyed writing a submission for the Youth Advocacy Centre which was included in their contribution to the National Human Rights Action Plan and working with different lawyers who are focused on the community legal sector was fantastic.
"I got so much out of it, I think all students who are interested should have an opportunity to undertake pro bono work in this way."
McKeon says her passion for social justice led to her interest in the Pro Bono Centre and only served to increase her desire to pursue a legal career in a role where she can assist people to achieve justice and equality.
Centre Director Monica Taylor says McKeon possessed exceptional interpersonal communication skills and a genuine desire to use her emerging legal skills for the public good.
The TC Beirne School of Law aims to be a leader in the development, promotion, and provision of pro bono legal services.
The Pro Bono Centre is going from strength to strength with the majority of the places at its clinics oversubscribed for 2015, which will include a new partnership with Tenants Queensland.
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