Month: December 2020

Young Lawyers Charity Ball

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The elegantly clad young lawyers dressed in evening dresses, and a black-tie gathered on 3 September 2015 in Myer Mural Hall, Melbourne, to attend the LIV Young Lawyers Charity Ball. The LIV Young Lawyers Society organized the Ball, and the event’s main sponsor was Gatehouse Legal Recruitment. Every year the proceeds from this function go to a selected beneficiary, and in 2015 the Ball benefited the Human Trafficking Taskforce in Melbourne.
The event organizers, LIV Young Lawyers Society, provide a platform where newly graduated, fledgling lawyers can voice their ideas on professional development and at the same time give back to their community. The Ball provides an opportunity for smartly clad members of the society to mingle and network while at the same time raising money for charity.
The Ball is beneficial for all involved. The community’s charities benefit from a cash donation. The legal recruiters, who sponsor the event, informally get to know the pool of candidates available to fill law firms’ positions. The young lawyers themselves benefit by meeting their peers who can guide and shape the decisions they need to make about their careers now that they have graduated from law school. It can be confusing for young graduates to choose and follow a specialty in the law field as there are many opportunities and specialties for them to choose from. The wide umbrella of the term “lawyer” covers many fields of specialty, from prosecutors and advocates to the lesser-known law sub-specialties like a family lawyer, corporate lawyer, labor lawyer, or even a chapter 7 lawyer.
During the event, the attendees were spoilt with a three-course meal and listened to speakers talking about pertinent law practice issues. They were also encouraged to participate in the various auctions during the event to ensure that they could raise a maximum amount of money to support their chosen charity, Human Trafficking Taskforce. Some young lawyers got to show their talents, other than just being brilliant in court and entertained the crowd with their ability to sing. At the end of the evening, the DJ provided music to dance, let their hair down and enjoy themselves.
The LIV Young Lawyers Society needs to be commended on starting this great initiative that, through celebration, manages to benefit the profession and help everyone involved. It provides a great opportunity for new lawyers to contribute to their chosen profession and supports the community’s worthy causes.

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Measures for Justice – What the Portal Can Do

Contrary to popular belief, most of the action performed by the criminal justice system is done on a local level. Things like trials, sentencing, and punishment come down to the county and there are vast differences in how different counties do things. For a long time, it has been very difficult to gather information on local criminal justice systems. But the Measures for Justice data portal aims to change that.

The Measures for Justice data portal is an online database that collects information from counties all over the United States. This data is then organized and provided for users to go through to look for patterns and information they need. According to the creators of the Measures for Justice data portal, the data they collect can lead to some surprising questions and insights.

Among the major uses for the Measures for Justice data portal is determining whether or not those caught in the criminal justice system are being treated fairly. And often, the numbers confirm what is already obvious. There are major discrepancies in how people are treated based on their background. This is particularly true when it comes to race and housing status, which are the two examples used in the video. When database users filter the results, they find that non-white defendants are more likely to be convicted than white defendants. Likewise, homeless defendants are sentenced to terms three times longer than others. Bail is also a major issue that is determined solely on a local level. While some defendants don’t have to pay bail or can pay it on their own, others have to rely on the bail bondsman services or remain in jail. This is a systemic problem that might not be obvious on the surface. These statements are backed up by data, leaving little room for doubt. Without the Measures for Justice data portal, there would be no way of knowing how widespread racial and economic prejudice is within the American justice system.

However, having this information also provides a great deal of hope. With solid numbers like those provided by the database, activists have a foundation to start on when they develop criminal justice system reforms. They can point to the numbers using the filters described in the video and see exactly where changes need to be made. And with numbers and information constantly coming in, they can also see the changes in data over time, showing exactly what kind of impact these reforms are really having.

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