Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Sean Mulcahy Testimonial

Co-convener in the lobby: Sean Mulcahy

Organisation: Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby

Co-convener role is voluntary (works half a day there) – so he’s also doing a PHD at Monash (full time – Law and Performance) for which I was given a scholarship

Previously:

Undergrad – Bachelor of Performing Arts/Bach of Laws at Monash. I spent my last semester in the UK.

When I came back to Australia I took up an internship at the Law Reform Commission in Sydney which focused on native title. I then continued to pursue my passion for native title through taking up a legal research position at The University of Melbourne. Subsequently, I then took on an internship with Native Title Services Victoria after which I then started to work for Victoria University researching legal history.

I then assisted research for the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance regarding industrial law. Then went back to VU to do research on the courts. Now, I’m doing (as above).

What are some of the challenges you have faced in your career?

Coming to the realization that, after graduating from law school, the chances of getting a 9-5 traditional commercial law job were slim. Indeed, the increased competition nowadays makes it even harder.

Whilst I pursued other jobs through internships and research, these were often short term and lacked certainty for the future. This was quite stressful.

What advice do you have for Law students and lawyers wanting to pursue a career path focusing on positive social change?

Keep your eye open for not merely commercial jobs – think outside of the box: apply for any internship you can find and you think you’ll be interested in. If they’ve got your details at least you’re in for a chance.

Also look for public service graduate opportunities – they can be a source of employment too.

Don’t get too down if you don’t get into a top tier law firm in your first year - persevere

What do you find most rewarding in your work?

Playing a role in changing the law – good outcomes for lbgti Victorians.

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