Farm life hones lawyer’s rural focus

Gladstone colleagues Nicole Casey and Nadine Hay at their admission sitting in Rockhampton.

Living on a property in Central Queensland gave newly admitted lawyer Nadine Hay a unique perspective on access to justice.

The Gladstone lawyer was admitted to the profession along with her V.A.J. Byrne & Co colleague Nicole Casey on 10 June.

“I grew up on my family’s cattle property 20 kilometres north of Taroom,” Nadine said. “Growing up in a regional area, I witnessed first hand the legal complexities and challenges faced by rural communities.

Nadine enjoys regional work.

“I chose to study law because I wanted to help make a difference by ensuring that legal services were available and tailored to the unique needs of these areas.”

And it was a bit of drive for the new lawyers and their supporters, more than 100km north to the Rockhampton sitting.

Nadine asked V.A.J. Byrne & Co Managing Director Kylie Devney to move her admission “because she embodies qualities I deeply admire and aspire to as a young lawyer”.


“Her dedication to the legal profession and commitment to excellence serve as inspirations for me,” she said.

“As both my boss and mentor, Kylie’s guidance, expertise and leadership have been instrumental in my career development. I hope to continue learning from her as I progress in my legal journey.

“Admission day was an incredibly significant and memorable milestone in my journey to becoming a lawyer. It represented the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I was grateful to be surrounded by my family, friends, and colleagues.”

While studying law, Nadine gained valuable experience working as a paralegal in inner-city, Brisbane firms.

Looking ahead, Nadine, who still helps out on the family farm, is excited to continue her work at a regional law firm.

“Through our offices in Gladstone, Bundaberg and Biloela, I aim to leverage both my learnings and personal understanding of rural communities to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals and families in these areas.”


Nicole is a Gladstone local, born and raised in the town. She completed her primary and secondary education locally and remained in Gladstone while completing a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws through the University of New England as an external student.

“Studying online meant I could remain in my hometown Gladstone, soaking up the sun in the city I love,” Nicole said in a social media post.

She started at the firm in 2020 in a paralegal role while completing her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practices and being admitted as a solicitor.

Nicole works in the commercial department and practises predominantly in conveyancing and commercial law.

Proctor looks to celebrate all newly admitted solicitors and congratulate them on this significant achievement. Please email details to Ensure you include some details of your current role, along with a quality head-and-shoulders image or images from your admission sitting.

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