Did you know that WLA ACT offers free student memberships? We recently caught up with Prisca Ochan, Law student and Paralegal at Sparke Helmore Lawyers as part of our #WomenLawyersoftheACT series, to chat about her reasons for signing up as one of our student members, her favourite WLA events so far and her interest in studying law.
What motivated you to study law?
I was about seven years old when I decided that I wanted to become a lawyer. Of course, when I was seven years old, I did not know what a lawyer was! But that did not stop me from telling everyone that, that was exactly what I would do. Several years later, here I am about to complete my legal studies and hopefully, enter the legal profession.
What cemented my desire to study law, and of course, has motivated me to continue with this degree, is my passion for social justice and access to justice. I also realise that things such as your skin colour, your English ability, your accent, and your socioeconomic status can affect whether or not you are able to access justice and the quality of legal representation and advice that you receive. I want to be in a position to change that. And finally, I just want to see more people who look like me in the legal profession here in Australia!
When did you join WLA ACT and why did you decide to join?
I signed up to be a student member of WLA in early 2018. I signed up because membership is free for students! I thought that this would be an excellent way for me to build my professional networks, make friends and get advice from women who are already working in the legal industry. I do want to become a lawyer, and as someone who did not know any lawyers before commencing law school, being able to forge and maintain these connections is so important to me.
What has been your favourite WLA ACT event that you have attended so far and why?
I have two favourite WLA events that I have attended so far. The first is More Than One Barrier: Your Role in Promoting Gender and Cultural Diversity in The Law Panel Discussion. And my second is the 2019 Law Week Dinner. Both of these events focused on diversity in the law, and as a woman who comes from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, they really resonated with me. I could relate to many of the struggles highlighted by the speakers and I enjoyed having conversations with these various women afterwards.
Who do you look up to and why?
I look up to my mother. She is an incredibly tenacious woman and inspires me to do and be better each and every day.