While most law students find it challenging just to stay on top of their study schedules, aspiring lawyer William Isdale, 23, has already been published in leading international journals, presented in academic forums, has a media profile and is contributing to national debate on a variety of ethical issues.
The penultimate UQ arts/law student’s achievements include co-authoring academic articles in prestigious journals with leading UQ academics Prof Graeme Orr and Nicholas Aroney, and Oxford University’s Prof Julian Savulescu.
William is also a regular contributor to the academic media outlet The Conversation, has several jobs including as research assistant to the UQ Law Journal and to Professors Allan, Orr and Aroney, and works as a Research Clerk at Minter Ellison lawyers. He has also worked as a casual producer for ABC radio – a position he was offered following an internship there earlier this year.
William has been pursuing his interest in podcasting by interviewing legal and ethics experts for The Conversation. Some of his interviewees include the Princeton University ethicist Prof. Peter Singer, and Georgetown University legal scholar Prof. Lawrence Gostin.
He has completed internships with the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Queensland Solicitor-General Peter Dunning QC. He has completed a clerkship with the law firm Minter Ellison, and will be completing another with the firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth later this year. He has also presented at an academic seminar, and a public forum, at the University of Melbourne.
During his studies, William has been Vice-President of the UQ Law Society, and President of the Australian Legal Philosophy Students’ Association. He also edited the Justice and the Law Society’s journal Pandora’s Box, and has represented the law school at the National Family Law Moot and the Sir Harry Gibbs Constitutional Law Moot. In 2012 he and his teammates won the UQ Law Society’s Senior Moot competition.
Unsurprisingly he is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including a scholarship last year to undertake six months’ research at Oxford University’s Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, the Thomas Joseph Ryan Scholarship and Medal, and the UQ Academic Excellence Scholarship.
“My research interests have come out of studying law at UQ and I have been particularly lucky to have had wonderful mentors here in Professors Graeme Orr, Jim Allan and Nicholas Aroney,” William said.
“They have offered me opportunities to collaborate with them in various ways, which has been an excellent learning experience.
“The six months at Oxford University's Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics last year allowed me to turn my mind to a whole range of topics.
“I published an academic article on the moral lessons of the First World War, but also wrote shorter articles on teaching ethics in schools, euthanasia, solitary confinement in the criminal justice system and more.
“And I have been able to continue collaborating with the centre’s director, Professor Julian Savulescu.”
William has also written about organ donation, the legal issues around school chaplains and bi-cameralism.
He hopes to find the time to keep writing about topics of interest and expects to graduate in July 2016. He will begin as an Associate to the Hon. Justice Dowsett of the Federal Court of Australia in 2017.
No doubt we will be hearing much more from William in the coming years.
William’s most recent academic papers:
An article with Professor Nick Aroney from UQ:
An op-ed with Professor Graeme Orr from UQ:
A journal article with Professor. Orr: