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Robert Downing, Principal, Commercial Litigation department, Macpherson + Kelley Lawyers* started his Arts/Law studies at Deakin in 1997. Robert has fond memories of his time at Deakin and encourages you to get involved, making the most of all opportunities that come your way, both academic and social.
I commenced at Deakin University in 1997, enrolling in Arts/Law. The Arts course was a great way to broaden my thinking. I undertook subjects including History and Psychology before majoring in Politics and Public Policy. This provided a very useful background to understand why laws come about and how they are shaped by society.
The Law course at Deakin provides a number of great opportunities to travel. I undertook the Chinese Commercial Law Study Tour and spent time in China, learning about the Chinese legal system under the guidance of Ms Kui Hua Wang.
I was also selected to represent Deakin University in the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot held in Vienna, Austria. This was an opportunity for us to put our skills to the test competing against 94 of the world's leading law schools from 31 countries, including Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, National Law School of India and Humboldt University (Germany), making it through to the quarter finals. It shows that Deakin's School of Law is truly world class.
While at Deakin I was also involved in the student associations including as the Vice President and then President of the Burwood Student Association before it became part of DUSA, where I was the inaugural General Secretary. I still have fond memories of the BBQ club at the Burwood campus (I hope it is still around!). Deakin University offers great opportunities to its students, so make the most of it and get involved.
It was my experience at Deakin that formed the foundation on which I have built my legal career, commencing with Articles (now Traineeships) at Macpherson + Kelley Lawyers. Over the years I have progressed up the ranks, undertaking a Master of Laws along the way, to become a Principal (our equivalent to Partner) in our Commercial Litigation department.
Robert Downing - September 2010
[Showing that he is still one to get involved, Robert was the President of the Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce, 2009-2011.- Editor.]