Winner of 2021 Sydney Criminal Lawyers Scholarship Announced

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers Scholarship trophy

Congratulations to Jessica Heaney, the winner of this year’s Sydney Criminal Lawyers Scholarship award, who won amongst extremely strong competition.

Jessica recently graduated with First Class Honours and will be admitted as a lawyer in February 2022. 

Jessica has already accepted a position as tipstaff to his Honour Justice Johnson in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. 

She is passionate about pursuing a career in advocacy, which is courtroom work. 

Jessica has a strong interest in social justice, especially issues affecting access to justice affecting Indigenous Australians, juvenile justice and women. 

“We are delighted to be awarding Jessica the Criminal Law scholarship. Her resume is very impressive – her academic record and her extra curricular activities show tremendous dedication and enthusiasm. 

Jessica was a standout candidate for the scholarship this year, although the calibre of applicants is always very strong.” 

Jessica says the scholarship money will help her to start her career, but says the application process itself was invaluable in helping her to self-reflect on her own goals. 

She says, “I am extremely grateful for Sydney Criminal Lawyers in supporting my transition into the legal profession. Being awarded this year’s recipient is recognition, for me, that I am on the right pathway to create a meaningful career for myself. It has made me even more determined to work hard to excel in this area.” 

Jessica’s ultimate goal is to be called to the Bar and to specialise in criminal law. 

“To support this my long-term plan is to secure a position at a criminal defence firm and work towards gaining specialist accreditation in criminal law practice, but I’ve always thought I would eventually extend my study too. I am looking at options to study my LL.M. overseas with a focus on cross-jurisdictional approaches to justice reinvestment. 

“I see myself heading in a direction to be an advocate for those without a strong voice and to provide legal expertise in complex cases. As COVID-19 has shown, flexibility and the ability to adapt to change is a must, so for this year I am going to learn as much as I can and see what other opportunities may arise for 2023!

In the meantime, Jessica will be working with Justice Johnson in the Supreme Court of New South Wales this year, which she sees as a valuable opportunity to gain experience and practical insights into the administration of justice and experience the day-to-day functioning of the Supreme Court.

“We wish Jessica all the best with the year ahead,” says Ugur Nedim. 

“It’s extremely rewarding to help passionate young lawyers to embark on their careers. These young lawyers are the future of our profession and their passion and fresh ideas are what will continue to ensure a strong justice system that’s continually evolving in line with changing social needs.”  

The Sydney Criminal Lawyers 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. Applications are now open for the 2022 Scholarship, until November 30. 

Applicants must have Australian citizenship or Australian permanent residency and be 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.

“The scholarship, which is in its third year, aims to identify and to recognise the potential of dedicated and capable students,” says Sydney Criminal Lawyers Principal, Ugur Nedim.

“It is our firm’s way of giving back to the law community, supporting the young talented people coming out of universities while they make important choices about the foundation years of their careers,” he says. 

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Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist, and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team. Sonia is the winner of the Mondaq Thought Leadership Awards, Spring 2022.

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