An “exceptional” University of Queensland student who founded his own not-for-profit organisation received a perfect score at the 2017 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards.
Milan Gandhi, from the TC Beirne School of Law at UQ, swept the Law Student of the Year category with a score of 90 out of 90 from all three judges.
The Burbank resident beat nine other finalists for the award – an honour which recognises the academic, community and legal achievements of undergraduate law students.
Head of School and Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington praised the final-year Bachelor of Laws student, also a research clerk at law firm McCullough Robertson and director of The Legal Forecast, a not-for-profit think-tank that aims to advance legal practice through technology and innovation.
“Mr Gandhi is an exceptional student in every sense of the word,” Professor Derrington said.
“He has received several academic prizes and participated in prestigious national and international conferences and mooting competitions.
“Mr Gandhi is a wonderful ambassador for the School and I look forward to following his career after graduation and well into the future.”
Mr Gandhi was shortlisted for the same award in 2016, alongside UQ graduates Camille Boileau and Jordan English, and said he was grateful for the School’s commitment to enriching the student experience.
“The TC Beirne School of Law has opened countless doors for me,” he said.
“They supported my attendance at the Lima UN Climate Conference as a Global Voices scholar. They gave me the chance to study international law in Vienna, sports law in India, and compete in the 2016 Philip C. Jessup Moot in Washington D.C.
“I’ve leveraged each of these experiences to radically broaden my network, learn about fascinating areas of law and build lifelong friendships.
“The main thing I’ve enjoyed about UQ is the social element. I thought law school would be cut-throat, but I’ve experienced friendship, humour and an inspiring, widely-shared intellectual curiosity.”
Although his success is largely the result of his own effort, Mr Gandhi credited several current and former School staff for their positive influence.
“Dr Justine Bell-James, my property law lecturer and two-time research supervisor, was patient, supportive and knowledgeable, and helped me to become a confident writer,” he said.
“Professor Anthony Cassimatis, Catherine Drummond, and Hugo Clark-Ryan were our mooting coaches. The amount of time and care they dedicated to our Jessup team defies description.
“Like many past and present UQ students, I look up to Professor Cassimatis and am very lucky to have experienced his wisdom and generosity first-hand.
“Finally, it would be remiss of me not to thank Professor Sarah Derrington for her leadership of the Law School, which has generated countless opportunities for my fellow students and me.”
Looking ahead, Mr Gandhi said he would join McCullough Robertson’s graduate program in 2018 and continue working with and developing The Legal Forecast.
The Queensland-based organisation recently opened chapters in New South Wales and Victoria and is now sponsored by several leading legal industry consultants and law firms.
“Our goal is to become the peak not-for-profit think-tank for early career legal professionals who are passionate about innovation, access to justice and the future of the legal profession,” he said.
Fellow UQ law student Hannah Krieger was recently shortlisted for Law Student of the Year at the 2017 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards, which will be announced in October 2017.
Image: Milan Gandhi, from the TC Beirne School of Law at UQ. Image supplied by UQ.