Since 1864, the Supreme Court Prize has honoured the top students from Victoria’s eight law schools. We congratulate Victoria University's 2020 winner, Lachlan Martin.
Speaking about the prize, Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Ferguson, herself a former Supreme Court Prize recipient, commended the winners remotely, with the ceremony postponed due to the COVID-19 situation.
"Even though we can’t celebrate these achievements together, we hope that the recipients take the time to celebrate and reflect on what a significant milestone it is in a challenging and complex discipline," she said.
"The Court also acknowledges that the hard work and dedication of the students must be matched by invaluable instruction, guidance and support from their lecturers, mentors, tutors, family and friends for them to realise their success."
VU graduate Lachlan Martin said the prize was a pleasant surprise.
"It was a great reaffirmation," he said. "I grew up in a family where there's no lawyers, no real interaction with that world whatsoever."
Exposure to legal work from a previous job made him realise that law could be accessible as a profession. And when deciding on which university to study at, he said VU matched his ethos.
"I think because of VU's size relative to other universities, you're able to take part in things and get enmeshed in the culture a bit easier," he said. "I've been to several universities… and VU was the one that was most accessible in terms of the people around you."
Halfway through his law studies, Lachlan also had a baby daughter to take care of. But he said throughout it all he felt supported by those around him, including VU.
"I've never worked so hard for anything in my life. And I felt like VU was a place where that level of dedication was rewarded."
Now Lachlan is using his law skills in a government role for Comcare, that deals with workers compensation insurance. He says he’s happy to gain some experience for a couple of years until his daughter is in school, then try his hand at the bar.