My name is Daniel Opare and I graduated from Deakin’s Burwood campus in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws. I completed a traineeship at Maurice Blackburn and I am now a lawyer in the firm’s Medical Negligence practice.
At uni I was that typical law student who studied law because I wanted to help people, so I feel very fortunate to have landed a job where I can do that on a daily basis. I have also always had an interest in medicine but didn’t have the stomach to become a doctor!
What’s your spirit animal and why?
I have always said that my spirit animal is a meerkat. Weird choice – I know, but I love that meerkats live in large groups and are super protective of each other. I am a big people person, and spend most of my free time hanging with friends and family. I also consider loyalty to be an important trait and one that I value highly.
Have you ever worked in the legal profession overseas? If so, what was your experience like?
No I have not – I am still trying to get a grip on the law in Victoria! But I know many people who have and they rave about it. If working abroad is something that you are interested in, I would definitely recommend looking into it.
What has been the most interesting task you have engaged in since entering into the profession?
Probably instructing a QC in a Coroners Court proceeding. We were representing the parents of young boy who tragically died at a major Victorian hospital. I was responsible for briefing independent doctors to report on whether the hospital provided the boy with an appropriate standard of care, and then once the matter proceeding to hearing I instructed the QC at court. Although the subject matter of the case was tragic, it was incredibly fulfilling helping the parents find answers and gain some closure. It was also great experience working alongside a senior barrister and leading doctors.
What has been your greatest achievement?
It is a bit corny, but I honestly consider my greatest achievement to be obtaining a lawyer position at Maurice Blackburn. I set my sights on the firm early in my degree and worked hard to gain as much relevant experience as possible throughout uni – so it felt great to be offered a position after years of determination and hard work.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice back when you were in law school, what would it be and why?
It would be to study at a consistent pace throughout the semester rather than cramming at exam time! I had a terrible habit of being an “off campus” student for the first 10 weeks of the semester, and would then go into exams feeling scrambled. I certainly performed a lot better in the units I studied consistently over the course of the semester. Law school can be exhausting and it is very easy to lose motivation. But if you can remain focused and determined, it will all be worth it in the end!