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New lawyers admitted to the bar after clearing final COVID-19 hurdle

Wendy Johnson3 August 2020
Margaret Young

Margaret Young from Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers experienced an interesting effect from COVID-19 event cancellations. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Everyone has a story about how life has changed with COVID-19.

For many young people, the pandemic has meant missing traditional graduation ceremonies and celebrations after years of hard work completing their degrees. For graduates entering professions that have an additional entrance hurdle, like the legal profession, COVID-19 has been even harsher.

In Canberra, law graduates must complete additional training to be admitted in the ACT Supreme Court before being allowed to practise as a lawyer.

With COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, 2020 admission ceremonies were cancelled, a major disappointment for so many.

For a young graduate like Margaret Young of Snedden Hall & Gallop, this extra stumbling block meant she couldn’t officially kickstart her exciting career, even though she’d put in the hard yards to complete a Bachelor of Law (Honours) at the University of Canberra and an Associate Degree in Law at Southern Cross University.

“I couldn’t start working ‘officially’ as a lawyer without that final admission ceremony,” said Margaret. “We had no idea what would happen with being admitted.”

Snedden Hall & Gallop understood the Court’s COVID-19 dilemma but thought there must be a way to get passionate, enthusiastic young graduates like Margaret – and her colleague Gemma Butler – working.

When the Court announced they would accept applications for special circumstance urgent admissions, Snedden Hall & Gallop backed Margaret and Gemma to apply. Finally, on 4 June, Margaret and Gemma proudly stood in the Supreme Court and heard the words they wanted to hear. They were admitted to the Roll of Lawyers of the ACT Supreme Court.

Congratulations to our newest lawyers – Margaret Young and Gemma Butler. While the usual admission ceremonies were…

Posted by Snedden Hall & Gallop on Thursday, 4 June 2020

Despite the initial uncertainty, Margaret says there is a bright side to the COVID-19 pause.

“It was an advantage to have a smaller and more intimate admission ceremony with just the two of us grads and our managing director, Richard Faulks, moving our motions to be admitted,” says Margaret.

With some COVID-19 restrictions now easing, the Court is holding more regular admission ceremonies, although numbers are limited for each and fewer family and friends can attend.

Now a fully-fledged lawyer, Margaret works primarily with Snedden Hall & Gallop’s Wills & Estates team and the Business Services team. She’s passionate about these important areas of the law and is proud to be working in the oldest independent law firm in Canberra, now celebrating 60 years in business.

Learn more about Snedden Hall & Gallop here.

Original Article published by Wendy Johnson on The RiotACT.

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