Alumnus sets sights on Cambridge with help of scholarship

29 September 2023
Sydney Law School alumnus awarded the Justice Peter Hely Scholarship.
The Justice Peter Hely Scholarship will enable Ben John to move to the UK, where he will study for the Master of Law at the University of Cambridge.
Man in a suit and tie seated behind a table, holding a pen and about to sign a document.

Ben John at his admission as a lawyer.

Ben John has been on an inspiring path since his days at Sydney Law School. After graduating from the University of Sydney with a combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours, Ben worked as a tipstaff in the New South Wales Court of Appeal before joining Allens, a top-tier law firm.

During his time at Sydney Law School, Ben was involved heavily in multiple extra-curriculars, from mooting to contributing to Law Society journals.

This year, Ben was awarded The Justice Peter Hely Scholarship. As a result, he will now be travelling across the world to study a Master of Law (LLM) at the University of Cambridge.

This experience will open doors for the future, enabling Ben to pursue an endless number of opportunities.

“I am very grateful for the support I have received from the University of Sydney Law School, not just with this scholarship, but throughout my time as a student and in my first few years of practice,” Ben said.

“Sydney Law School has a culture of collegiality—I’ve always found academics and tutors to be extremely generous with their time, and the same with peers.”
Ben John
Man standing in front of a grand building with spires and arches.

Ben John at the Peace Palace in The Hague for the 2023 Vis Moot Competition.

What are some of the fondest memories from your time at Sydney Law School?

I loved being a member of the 2019/2020 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team and writing my thesis in 2020. These experiences stand out for the investment required but more significantly the chance to undertake deep learning and build stronger relationships with members of the faculty.

Probably the highlight, however, came after I graduated. I was fortunate enough to co-coach this year's excellent Vis Moot team, alongside Professor Chester Brown and Anuki Suraweera. Coaching has inspired me to get more involved in teaching and tutoring in the future.

Do you have any advice for students looking to pursue further study?

It definitely took me the first few years of study to find my feet. My advice to current students would be to get involved as early as possible in the many opportunities on offer at Sydney Law School.

Whether through mooting, Sydney University Law Society roles, or publications, extra-curricular activities allow you to explore potential areas of interest, meet new people and can open up a number of exciting doors (as well as making your application for further study more attractive).

What about studying in the UK are you most excited for?

The weather—I've heard it's very sunny over there! Other than that, I'm looking forward to researching some of the legal issues and questions I've come across in practice but haven't had the chance to properly explore.

The Justice Peter Hely Scholarship was established in 2008 by Sydney Law School through contributions from the friends and colleagues of the Late Justice Peter Hely, to promote postgraduate study in the fields of commercial law and equity.

Valued at $20,000, the scholarship is open to students and alumni who have completed, or who are about to complete, an undergraduate or postgraduate law degree at the University of Sydney and have an offer of admission in a postgraduate degree at Sydney Law School or equivalent institution.

Applications for the scholarship open in October 2023.

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