Jeff Giddings on Legal Aid, Dealing with Stigma and Advice to his Younger Self
Interested in hearing about the evolution of legal education? Keen to know more about the state of legal aid in Australia? Need some inspiring advice from a seasoned professional? Meet Jeff Giddings, a Professor of Law at Monash University and Director of the Monash-Oakleigh Legal Service Clinic.
Jeff recently joined the Monash University Law Faculty after 22 years at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland. He received an Australia National Teaching Fellowship in 2013 for the Effective Law Student Supervision Project. In addition, he served (2013-15) as an International Scholar for the Academic Fellows Program of the Open Society Foundation, working extensively with the American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Jeff’s accolades and achievements are difficult to fit onto one page, and we were lucky to have him on Beyond Billables. Our conversation hit a lot of different notes but focused mainly on legal education, legal aid, lawyer stigma and Jeff’s advice to those just starting out.
We also dug into things like:
Justice, definitions and how some topics are hard to clearly pin down
Theory vs practice in terms of both personal experience and educational outcomes
The value in finding great mentors or supervisors
The changes in societal attitudes toward legal services and aid
The benefits of pursuing a career in academia
The dramatic increase in the number of law schools in Australia and what that means for the future
The changing look of a law school graduate in the 21st century
Why you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously sometimes
How family can be the key to a happy and successful work-life balance