Alumni profile: Adjunct Professor the Hon. Nahum Mushin AM
We recently spoke with Adjunct Professor the Hon. Nahum Mushin AM about his personal contribution to the Monash community.
As an alumnus, staff member, and most recently becoming a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to the judiciary, Professor Mushin is a shining ambassador of the culture Monash encourages.
Professor Mushin was part of the Faculty of Law’s first cohort in 1964 and in 1990, became the first Monash Law graduate to become a judge of any jurisdiction when he was appointed to the Bench of the Family Court of Australia.
He has worked as a legal educator at Monash throughout his career and said teaching law is a way to give back. “I’ve taught, lectured and been involved with University staff and alumni for pretty well my whole career,” Professor Mushin said. “I find it extremely challenging and rewarding. In recent years I’ve been teaching ethics to law students; I find that inspiring.”
Professor Mushin has worked tirelessly to contribute to law reform across Australia in areas of matrimonial property, evidence, and family violence. His work as a legal educator has focused on family law, ethics, advocacy, and cultural diversity.
He has also supported the Monash law community through gifts to the Faculty of Law, the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, and the Susan Campbell Memorial Fund which funds the annual Clinical Legal Education Visiting Fellowship, the Future Fund, and the Susan Campbell Equity Scholarship given to students who would otherwise face barriers to gaining a tertiary legal education.
Professor Mushin’s advice for young lawyers and law students is to believe in what they do and find the area of practice that best suits their personality. “Lawyers and students have to be committed from day one to promoting access to justice and the rule of law. Within that, as you work your way through, you find your niche area of the law which suits you, your beliefs, your values and your temperament.”
New graduates should also take advantage of the networking opportunities available to give them the best chance to succeed in the profession. “Networking is fundamental to the practice of law. The furtherance of your knowledge of people and situations can only help you and is very important because the law works as a very collegiate group; you need to recognise the communality of law practice.
“You’re not alone on an island, you’re very much a part of a whole group of people who all have the same end in sight and you work together for that; and the fundamental part of that is acting for your client and your client’s best interests.”