Young lawyer Elle Belekas named finalist in the Law Society of NSW Awards

Elle Belekas, junior lawyer at MinterEllison, has been recognized as a finalist in the Early Career Lawyer of the Year category of the Law Society of NSW Awards.

The award recognizes attorneys who have shown promise in their chosen field and have made a commitment to support their peers for the first five years of practice.

The Greek Herald reached out to Elle to find out more about her career and how it felt to be recognized as a finalist.

Congratulations on your appointment as a finalist in the Law Society of NSW Awards for Early Career Lawyer of the Year. How does it feel to be recognized?

I am very honored to receive this recognition. It is an incredible honor and a testament to all the support and guidance I have received from so many wonderful mentors. I constantly feel so inspired by my colleagues and clients and I am motivated by the prospect of making a positive contribution to the profession.

Elle Beleka.

What made you decide to enter the legal profession?

From a young age I knew I wanted to pursue a career in law. My years of experience in debating and public speaking, taking part in the NSW Law Society Mock Trial competition both as a participant and as a team coach, and my passion for writing have fueled my enthusiasm for looking at complex matters from different perspectives. These experiences coupled with my fascination for the effects of law in everyday, practical contexts cumulatively underpinned my desire to study law.

My enthusiasm for a legal career grew as I continued my law and commercial studies. During my time at university I was involved in various professional competitions such as: B. Mooting both as a participant and as a judge, as well as leading the competition customer surveys. These opportunities also allowed me to see the joy I find in problem solving and practicing critical thinking, especially when pressed for time. I also developed a strong interest in legal jurisprudence through my role as Editor of the Law Journal of the University of New South Wales.

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During my studies I developed a passion for improving the accessibility of law which led to my involvement in various outreach programs which have given me the opportunity to speak to students in schools across NSW about their basic legal rights. All of these experiences confirmed to me that I had made the right choice in pursuing a legal career.

Tell us a little about your legal career to date.

Already in my first year of study I worked in law firms because I was immediately driven to combine my academic studies with practical experience. This allowed me to gain five years of legal experience before being formally admitted to the profession in June of this year.

Before graduating, I had worked in a small firm, large corporations, and internally with the General Counsel of one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations. Through these experiences, I have been able to assist clients from various industries on matters in various areas, including corporate and commercial law, administrative law and dispute resolution.

I was offered the opportunity early on to exercise independence and responsibility, but also to work with my colleagues and clients on major legal projects. I am currently an attorney with MinterEllison, where I have been employed full-time since graduating from university.

Does your Greek heritage influence your work in any way?

I think my Greek heritage subconsciously instilled in me a deeper appreciation for diversity, inclusivity and a strong work ethic. My grandfather, who came to Australia from Agrinio, Greece when he was just 16, was a great role model for me and always emphasized the value of hard work and education.

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My early exposure to Greek as a second language fueled my broader interest in foreign languages ​​and cultures. As a result, I have also undertaken years of study in Latin and French.

What do you enjoy most about your work? What are your future plans?

I enjoy the fast pace and intellectually stimulating nature of legal work. Every legal issue has its own nuances; There is rarely a clear solution or way forward, and that makes the work all the more fascinating. I enjoy being challenged and thinking strategically to solve complex problems and contribute to the development of commercially robust solutions. Being able to help clients achieve a positive outcome is incredibly rewarding. I am also fortunate to work in a very collegial, collaborative environment and to be surrounded by like-minded and supportive individuals.

As for future plans, I will continue to follow the journey, guided by the advice of my colleagues and mentors. I will continue to challenge myself and strive to make a valuable contribution to the legal profession and community.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

If you are interested in a career in the legal profession, never underestimate the value of speaking to others within the legal community. There are so many wonderful people in this profession who would be very willing to offer their insights and advice.