A difficult childhood hasn’t stopped Vincent Shin from realising his goal to be a lawyer. A trail-blazer employed as one of the first school lawyers, Vincent helps students and families facing similar situations. Vincent's inspirational story featured on Australian Story in 2017.
"I faced many challenges growing up, including family violence. As a result, I struggled at high school; university never seemed like an achievable option. Some years after high school however, I had dreams of becoming a lawyer to help people dealing with similar situations.
For two years, while completing an Advanced Diploma of Business (Legal Practice) at Swinburne TAFE, I applied to law schools all around Victoria. Each semester, I was unsuccessful.
I vividly remember receiving a call from Victoria University. The woman ringing was considering my application and asking for my Year 12 score, which I had intentionally left blank. After some hesitation I told her it was 24.5 but reminded her my final average grade for my TAFE course was 90%, and briefly explained to her my family situation.
I was accepted into law school at Victoria University and graduated from my law degree with honours. I went on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and was admitted at the Supreme Court of Victoria - it was one of my proudest moments."
Vincent has worked with traumatised children placed in residential care through Welfare Personnel Australia and in a private practice specialising in family law, family violence intervention orders and criminal law. He became one of Australia's first school lawyers in a pilot project in Hoppers Crossing working on issues ranging from homelessness, MYKI fines, employment law, sexting, family violence and more. He is now a senior lawyer (family law) with WEstjustice community legal centre.