Are you looking to put your purpose into practice? Working at leading international law firm Allen & Overy, Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Diploma of Legal Practice alumnus Alissa Lucas is doing just that.
“I believe that success for big business is becoming increasingly synonymous with sustainability and social responsibility,” says Alissa. “I would like to have a career in which I can lead companies to improve on these aspects in a way that improves both society and the success of their business.”
In fact, her commitment to social impact drove many of Alissa’s choices as a student at the University of Newcastle. Eager to understand different cultures and perspectives, she sought new and challenging professional experiences across Asia. An internship making a difference through community development in Cambodia. An exchange program in Hong Kong. A study tour and homestay in Japan.
“As my experiences varied from working at a big corporate to interning at a community development organization, I have had such a great insight into Asia, commercially, socially, and culturally,” says Alissa.
Most recently, Alissa was selected as a Ma & Morley Scholar, and was able to travel to China for an immersion experience.
“While we were in China, we went to many different community development groups and also big corporate companies. It really highlighted the fact that even big corporates have a responsibility. And big corporates have the opportunity to implement social change in a way that improves their business.”
But Alissa was also able to make the most of her time right here in Newcastle. She volunteered at the Aboriginal Legal Service, tutoring and mentoring refugee students. And as part of her program, she gained vast experience in practical law at the University Law Centre.
“The clinical education offered by the law school is unique and extremely beneficial,” says Alissa. “Not only does it provide a service for our community, but it also provides an opportunity for students to work on real cases and to gain an understanding of the legal issues that can have huge impacts on our community and individuals’ lives.”
“It was also great to study at NeW Space because you’re right in the centre of the city, and the courthouse is nearby, different law firms are nearby,” she adds.
Alissa shares that the thing that excites her most about her current role is the expanded opportunities to “cultivate social change in a commercial setting.”
“I would also like to use the skills, networks and knowledge I gain in a way that makes a positive, and sustainable, impact on society.”
And by combining her passion with her professional path, Alissa is finding new ways to make that impact.