Flanked by her beaming teenage children, newly minted solicitor Melissa Angus was both excited and relieved at the Brisbane Supreme Court today.
“I was so nervous in there – exams are easy compared to admission,” Melissa said after emerging from the Banco Court, where she was among about 150 graduates admitted to the legal profession across six ceremonies.
The 50-year-old was joined by daughter Iluka, 18, and son Luis, 17, who were keen to head home to Noosa to toast their mother’s achievement.
Iluka completed Year 12 at St Teresa’s Catholic College last week, and Melissa said the family had hosted a graduation party for 150 children at the weekend.
“This has been a very exciting week for us,” she said.
Iluka won’t be following in her mother’s footsteps, however.
“It tried legal studies – I lasted one term,” she said.
Melissa completed a Bachelor of Laws at the Central Queensland University in August last year, then a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law.
She said she was not sure whether she wanted to practise yet, and was eyeing a master of international commercial law, but for now would “take some time to breathe”.
Her application for admission was moved by Brisbane barrister Scott Malcolmson, who said it was “always wonderful” to be a mover.
“This is the culmination of so much hard work,” Scott said.
At the first admission ceremony of the day, Justice Debra Mullins told the cohort their admission should be a source of pride but should not be taken lightly.
“It is a privilege to be a lawyer. It is also a role that carries with it great responsibilities. You will feel the weight of that responsibility with clients who place absolute trust in your ability, skill and judgment to sort out their legal problems,” Justice Mullins said.
“You owe obligations in the performance of your role as a lawyer to the court, the client, your employer, and the legal practitioners with whom you deal in practice.
“May I suggest that you recognise the privileged position you are in as a lawyer by giving back to the community and to the profession. Look for opportunities to do pro bono work, volunteering at a community legal centre or involvement in community organisations.”
Justice Mullins also spoke of the importance of continuing legal education and the need to find a proper work-life balance.
The next admission ceremony will be held in Rockhampton on 7 December.
To read about other solicitors admitted this month, click here.
Our Admissions section looks to celebrate all newly admitted solicitors and congratulate them on this significant achievement. Please email details to email@example.com. Ensure you include some details of your current role, along with a quality head-and-shoulders image.