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Lawyers breaking down barriers

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Graduate Lawyer Karri Walker features in the cover story of this month’s Law Institute Journal, focused on how to encourage greater diversity in the legal profession.

Interviewed alongside three other graduates from diverse personal and professional backgrounds, Karri says that when cultural and other differences are respected, lawyers feel more confident expressing their views, and clients benefit from a greater breadth of perspective and experience.

A Nyiyaparli woman whose family is from the Pilbara region of WA, Karri studied law at Melbourne Law School, where she became the first Indigenous student representative and advocated for Aboriginal law and perspectives to be integrated into curriculum.


“If the law is viewed as a tool to achieve social justice, as it is at ABL, all lawyers at all firms in Australia should have a level of knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and history, and the issues we continue to face today.”

Having taken up clerkships at three firms, Karri told journalist Karin Derkley that at Arnold Bloch Leibler she felt more able to be herself. “I had been worried that with commercial law, I would have to give up part of my identity. But at ABL I felt that my culture was respected and understood because the firm has such a long history of commitment to Aboriginal Australia.

“If the law is viewed as a tool to achieve social justice, as it is at ABL, all lawyers at all firms in Australia should have a level of knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and history, and the issues we continue to face today.”

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