First of all, 7 days in Sydney is nowhere near enough. I deeply regret not coming early and spending an extra week sightseeing before the course began. Although I’m not ready to leave, I’m very happy with the experiences and lessons that I can take home with me. Australia is easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited, and is home to some of the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered. I’ve been called “darling” and “my love” more times in the last 7 days than I have in my entire life.
I was initially scared to travel alone, and had experienced regret several times throughout my travel between airports prior to my arrival. However, as soon as I stepped out of the elevator after taking the train from the airport to Circular Quay, it felt like my heart was going to explode. I loved the buildings, the view of the harbor, and the weather. I was disgusting from 33 straight hours of travel, but could not wait to explore. On the plane I was worried about exploring alone, but instantly felt so liberated. I enjoyed walking the streets having no clue where I was headed, and stopping in to an unknown bistro to have lunch alone. I would have never done something like this back home.
In addition to the tourist aspect, I took so much away from the educational components of the trip. Since I haven’t decided what area of the law I plan to practice, white collar crime was fascinating to explore, and the inner workings of white collar crime were almost thrilling. While I enjoyed all of the speakers, I was especially interested in the presentation by Paul Hinz. The recreation of an actual case, along with the step by step explanations of his work (as well as the walls he ran into) were exciting, and made me feel like that is a line of work I could truly enjoy. I am scared of falling into a monotonous career, and the investigation aspect of white collar crime seems as if it would provide the exact opposite as far as work routine. I also enjoyed the visit with Judge Zahra, as well as the observation of the proceedings in the NSW court. It was somewhat startling to hear how powerless he feels judges are here, as well as how weak the penalties for white collar crime are. It really resonated with me to hear two different speakers, at two separate events share the same quote regarding the inefficiency of white collar legislation by saying that committing these types of crimes in Australia is “worth it.” I’m extremely interested in learning more about the severity of white collar crime punishments and penalties in America, as well as in following Australia as they (hopefully) make strides in the direction of creating more detrimental legislation.