Passion for people leads to lasting change for law student Guglielmo Plain
Combining his love of Law with his passion for helping people, Master of Laws ‘Access to Justice’ student Guglielmo Plain puts theory into practice every day as part of his work with The Accessible Justice Project.
Pursuing a career in law had always been a dream for Master of Laws student Guglielmo Plain, but it was his level head and analytical mindset that saw him put a hold on his legal aspirations to gain further life experience before taking on the challenges of studying law.
“I was considering Law to be my first degree at the time. However, I did not feel ready or mature enough to confront the rigours of a law degree.”
After working with TAFE SA for over 10 years specialising in adult literacy and numeracy, Guglielmo felt the time was right to pursue his interests, and enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws at the University of Adelaide in 2014.
“I realised once I started studying that my interest was actually a passion and that it was what I really wanted to do.”
After graduating, Guglielmo sought further practical experience to set him apart from the many other graduate lawyers in the field. In his research, Guglielmo came across the Master of Laws ‘Access to Justice’ specialisation, offered by the Adelaide Law School, which he saw as the perfect opportunity to build real-world legal skills and improve his employment prospects upon graduation.
“The Access to Justice specialisation was exactly the type of course that I was looking for. I was not particularly looking to do further study but the fact that it provided actual law practice was a significant drawcard.”
The chance to further develop professional skills as well as explore new areas of law became one of the most enjoyable aspects of Guglielmo’s degree.
“The courses are all really interesting, particularly the course on how to become a better writer, which was packed with information that is invaluable to becoming a better researcher, lawyer, and writer in general. The Space Law course was taught by enthusiastic, passionate lecturers and guest speakers, and truly opened my eyes to a niche area of law that I had not previously considered.”
Working with people from a disadvantaged background is a true passion for Guglielmo, so he could not pass up the opportunity to become involved with The Accessible Justice Project, a specialist placement opportunity offered only to students in the Master of Laws ‘Access to Justice’ specialisation.
The Accessible Justice Project is a low-bono legal practice offering discounted services to people who would otherwise not be able to access legal support. A joint initiative between Lipman Karas and the University of Adelaide, Access to Justice students undertake paid, practical experience, under the guidance of senior solicitors. It offers an opportunity for students to practise law for positive social outcomes and make a difference during their studies.
During his time with TAFE SA, Guglielmo came face to face with a diverse range of students who often had to contend with legal issues, regularly without the skills, support, or funds to see justice delivered.
“The barriers to justice are very high and I was excited to be involved in a project that might help lower those barriers for individuals such as those I taught for so many years. The gratitude from clients who would otherwise not have been able to afford proper legal representation is incredibly rewarding.”Guglielmo Plain
Aside from the personal impact The Accessible Justice Project has had on Guglielmo’s life and that of his clients, this opportunity has bridged the gap between theory and practice, exposing him to a diverse range of legal issues, and opening new career paths in the legal profession.
“It has given me the hands-on experience that I was otherwise lacking and allowed me to put into practice a lot of what I had learned. The great thing about the program is that we get to practise a wide variety of different types of law, which will give me the flexibility to work in most areas of law.”
But what has proven to be most invaluable to Guglielmo during his studies and his time with The Accessible Justice Project are the mentorship opportunities provided by the supervising solicitors.
“Working within the environment of a larger commercial law firm with lawyers who have unparalleled experience and commitment to excellence has shaped my work ethos. Knowing that you are learning from some of the best practitioners in the business is a priceless opportunity.”
Looking to the future, Guglielmo hopes to continue working in a practice where he can help improve people’s lives through the provision of essential legal services.
“Ultimately, I would like to get to a position where I can affect systemic change in the hope that everyone who needs legal assistance can have access to it.”
By choosing to study the Master of Laws ‘Access to Justice’ specialisation, Guglielmo was given the opportunity he needed to take his professional career to the next level whilst gaining paid practical skills and making an impact in the community. For more information, please visit the Master of Laws ‘Access to Justice’ website or read further about the specialisation in our Master of Laws ‘Access to Justice’ article.