A journey that started with a Bachelor of Psychological Science, followed by a Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of Newcastle (UON), now sees Callum Maher tackling legal issues with national and global impact.
Callum completed his postgraduate studies in 2017 before accepting a position at King & Wood Mallesons, a corporate law firm handling major renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and battery farms.
“Our transactional work involves projects that shape the cities we live in and power our lives. It has tangible impact on the future of our country; literally keeping the lights on whilst the industry pivots towards a greener future.”
Callum reflects on his time at UON and the opportunities that helped shape the path he has chosen, explaining that he drew inspiration from passionate teaching staff with real world experience.
“The biggest difference between studying law at UON and elsewhere is the practice program. Having access to two years of guaranteed work experience in an industry that is notoriously difficult to break into cannot be oversold.”
As part of that program, Callum travelled to the Cook Islands where he worked with Cook Islands Police Service. This clinical internship saw him draft government documents including a new driver licensing regime and an inter-agency memorandum of understanding – all between mountain climbing and ship-wreck diving.
“Looking back, I was definitely thrown in the deep end - both professionally and culturally! However, it wasn’t just a sink-or-swim moment. I was constantly and thoroughly supported throughout my time there.”
If Callum had to provide future students of the Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice with a word of wisdom, he says it’s to get as involved as possible.
“Smaller class sizes allow you to have far greater access to your lecturers,” he explains. “The staff are approachable and personable and there’s a real sense of community in the law school.
“I engaged with my studies, talked to my lecturers and tutors, took the chance to take part in extra-curricular activities and challenged myself to grow professionally.”
UON Juris Doctor graduate tackles new environmental law challenges with global impact.
Having access to two years of guaranteed work experience in an industry that is notoriously difficult to break into cannot be oversold.