ANU alumnae trio honoured in 2023 Lawyers Weekly Awards
2023 Lawyers Weekly awardees

Jyoti Haikerwal, Lara Ilic, and Emilie Franklin were all honoured at the 2023 Lawyers Weekly Awards.

The ANU legal community is also relatively close, and it is not uncommon for me to encounter lawyers who also share the ANU connection.

Three alumnae from The Australian National University (ANU) College of Law have been named winners in the 2023 Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards and Corporate Counsel Awards.

Among the outstanding alumni being recognised for their work in the legal profession is Jyoti Haikerwal (BMedSci/LLB (Hons) ’18), who was the winner in the 30 Under 30 Health, Medical and Personal Injury category.

Jyoti, who currently works as an associate for Melbourne-based personal injury law practice Brave Legal, is from a family of professionals in science and medicine. While she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a lawyer, upon being accepted into ANU Jyoti decided to pursue a flexible double degree in law and medical science. 

“With the diverse range of subjects, lecturers, tutors and students at the ANU College of Law, it was a safe space to explore how I could use my degree beyond life in a commercial firm,” she says.

“This award is a recognition of the hard and important work that the team at Brave Legal are proud and privileged to do every single day.

“It has made me stop and reflect on everything that has helped me get to where I am today including my family, friends, support network and all the opportunities I was given to discover my passion for medical law during my studies,” Jyoti adds.

For Lara Ilic (BComm/LLB (Hons) ’19), her nomination by the partners at Baker McKenzie, where she currently works as an associate, and subsequent win in the Projects, Energy and Resources category was a celebration of her achievements despite being relatively young in her career. 

Lara started her career as a summer clerk with the firm and through a number of internal rotations in different teams as a graduate, she found an interest in the Energy, Resources, Infrastructure and Corporate (ERIC) practice area. 

“In pursuing ERIC, my expertise and relationships, developed throughout Baker McKenzie, has proven invaluable.

“To have my commitment and rounded approach to the practice of law recognised, both internally at Baker McKenzie and in this public forum, truly meant a lot,” she says. 

Lara also credits her time at ANU in developing the well-rounded approach she has adopted in her career. She fondly recalls her time with the ANU Netball Club and the ANU Bears Touch Football Club as some of her most memorable and important aspects of her university life.

In addition to this, she also believes being exposed to various academics who brought their own unique teaching methods was instrumental in her development.

“Whether it be the clarity and anecdotal teaching style of Alex Bruce, the first hand experiences and knowledge of Phillip Drew, or the intelligence and precision of my Financial Markets and Takeovers tutor, ANU offered many opportunities to share in the respective fields of some memorable academics.
“I'm sure that their passion, and my friendships from across campus, will be great path markers for years to come,” she says.

In the Corporate Counsel Awards, Emilie Franklin (BAsSt/LLB ’12, GDLP ’13) clinched the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Lawyer of the Year award.

Emilie, the sole Senior Legal Counsel for tech development firm Modaxo and IT consultancy Trapeze Group Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, attributed her award to her contributions to improve business outcomes of the organisations she works with.

“Receiving the award has been a truly humbling and exciting experience, and I am immensely grateful for the recognition. It reinforces the importance and benefits of sharing knowledge through the wider legal fraternity,” she says.

Emilie has worked in the private sector and in in-house roles for the majority of her career, providing legal advice across a range of sectors including government, resources, transport and software among others. She got her first career break through a summer clerkship with Clayton Utz during her penultimate year at the ANU. 

She looks back at her time at the ANU as being instrumental in shaping her career because of what she describes as “world-class education from exceptional academics”. 

But beyond this, her biggest takeaway was the opportunity to network and forge lifelong contacts.
“It has played a pivotal role in my career, providing support, invaluable insights, and mentoring along the way. This has helped me stay abreast of developments across particular industries and the broader legal profession.

“The ANU legal community is also relatively close, and it is not uncommon for me to encounter lawyers who also share the ANU connection,” she says.

The full list of winners for the 2023 Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards and Corporate Counsel Awards can be viewed here.