Oxford University bridge of sighs

Sydney Law School graduate wins NSW Young Lawyer of the Year award

15 November 2018
Recognition for exceptional contribution to the legal community
Bachelor of Laws alumnus Samuel Murray on the value of being named NSW Young Lawyer of the Year, and his advice for young lawyers coming into the profession.
Image of alumnus Samuel Murray

It’s been a busy year for Samuel Murray who is currently studying at Oxford University on scholarship, while taking a year out from his role in litigation at Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

We caught up with Samuel to find what the award means to him and the advice he has for young lawyers coming into the profession.

Value of professional associations

I became involved with NSW Young Lawyers in my second year of university at the Sydney Law School, as a means of contributing to the extensive law reform work of the organisation, particularly in criminal and public law.

Since then, I have been welcomed and supported in the organisation, and have set up mentoring programs, given evidence to Parliament regarding law reform submissions, and been elected to the governing Executive Council of the organisation. It has been a phenomenal experience, which I unreservedly recommend to all young lawyers.

Being awarded NSW Young Lawyer of the Year is an unexpected but welcome recognition of the time and energy spent making NSW Young Lawyers as great as I know the organisation can be. It shows the value of being actively involved in professional associations and using them as a way to give back to the community.

Highlights from Oxford

I am very fortunate and grateful to be the recipient of the Banking & Financial Services Law Association Scholarship for 2018, which has given me the amazing opportunity to study the Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford.

My studies have been focused on commercial remedies, restitution of unjust enrichment, and principles of civil procedure, with a particular personal emphasis on looking at ways of maximising returns to creditors from insolvent companies.

The biggest highlight so far has been the brilliant people with whom and under whom I am studying, whose fresh and comprehensive views of law challenge my views of the world every day. 

Lessons learned at Sydney Law School

The Sydney Law School taught me the value of an inquiring and questioning mind; and introduced me to wonderful people who have and continue to push me to work harder and be better in totally unexpected ways. To this day I continue to treasure the relationships I formed with fellow students and academics during my time at the Law School, which have continued to provide an unending source of companionship, advice and support.

Words of advice

My advice to young lawyers is that as important as it is to do the right things in life, it is equally as important to do those things the right way, whilst recognising the compassion, empathy and fairness that is inherently owed to others. We, as young lawyers, have a duty to the public, and we owe it to ourselves to use our talents and education for its benefit, whether we do that in our day-to-day work or as part of wider professional associations in our spare time. Finding the ways in which we can best do that is a noble endeavour for which we should all strive.