For some university students, discovering their passion can take semesters or even years. However, Helen Whalan knew early into her studies at The Australian National University (ANU) that her calling was law, and particularly constitutional law.
“As soon as I started, I just fell in love with law,” she said.
“Although I’m interested in many different areas of law, constitutional law is so fundamental to the legal landscape in Australia that it’s just something I keep coming back to.”
Helen, a fifth-year Bachelor of Actuarial Studies/Laws (Honours) student, was recently named this year’s Leslie Zines Constitutional Law Scholarship recipient. She will begin a 10-week internship at the Attorney-General’s Department this summer.
The scholarship was established in memory of Professor Leslie Zines AO, a former Dean of the ANU College of Law and one of Australia’s leading constitutional law scholars. The internship comprises five weeks with the Office of Constitutional Law at the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), and five weeks with the Office of General Counsel at the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS).
“I really enjoyed constitutional law. It’s fantastic to have the chance to work in these organisations and see the practical application of constitutional law,” said the Hobart-born, Canberra-raised student.
“My grandfather, Professor (Douglas) Whalan, succeeded Professor Zines as Dean of the ANU College of Law. I think he would have been very proud that I’ve been honoured with this award in memory of his colleague.
“This is an incredible opportunity and I’m very grateful to the Leslie Zines Endowment for making this experience possible,” added Helen.