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Young alumni stories: Bosnian war sparked letters of the law

Cite Magazine
Online exclusive

Mila Banovic always knew she could make a difference in the world by becoming a lawyer.

Mila Banovic

Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the now 22-year-old clearly remembers the aftermath of the devastating Bosnian War – a four-year conflict that is thought to have claimed more than 200,000 lives and displaced more than two million people.

Banovic’s family fled to Australia in 1999 and were resettled in Perth.

“I appreciate the freedom, opportunities and level of education that I have received in Australia, and that’s why I want to make an active contribution to society,” Banovic says.

“I have always been interested in law, particularly because it affects and regulates every aspect of our day-to-day lives. There is always a problem to solve or advice to give, which makes working in the legal profession very unique and distinct.”

Banovic belongs to the Curtin Law School’s second cohort of graduates. She recently completed a vacation clerkship at The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Western Australia and currently works as a law graduate at leading independent law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

The cases Banovic has worked on and experiences she’s had in reviewing key documents, taking witness statements, listening to telephone intercept material and counselling in a solicitor-like capacity seem straight out of a TV legal drama. But the positive impact she’s making is very real.

“Since working in the industry, I’ve realised the significant impact that the law has on people’s lives and how interpreting the law effectively, through critical analysis and problem solving, can greatly mitigate the losses suffered by a client,” she says.

Foundation Dean and Head of School Professor Paul Fairall says students who study law at Curtin will be strongly prepared for the profession, especially given the school’s close proximity to Perth’s main courts.

“The mix of an accelerated three-year academic program, law clinic, independent barrister’s chambers providing in-house mentoring and a rich continuing professional development program in one city location offers unparalleled learning opportunities for our students,” says Professor Fairall.

For Banovic, who has just begun her practical legal training at the College of Law, the dream of becoming a lawyer has almost come true.

“I look forward to being admitted as a solicitor by the end of this year,” she says.

This story is part of Curtin’s Young Alumni Stories series where we celebrate the achievements of Curtin graduates 35 and under. Learn more about the Young Alumni Program.

Graduate snapshot

Name: Mila Banovic

Studied: Bachelor of Laws

Graduated: 2016

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