Career surge for USC law graduate named national ‘Rising Star’


2019 USC graduate, Michael Jefferies

When COVID-19 restrictions closed the overseas study door on 25-year-old Sydney lawyer Michael Jefferies earlier this year, another two doors opened for the 2019 USC graduate.

One was to the offices of corporate and commercial law firm Hamilton Locke in Sydney, with a job offer to start specialising in his preferred legal fields, and the other was to the top of another category in the Australian Law Awards – his third such win in a row.

The USC Chancellor’s Medallist was named Rising Star of the Year out of 10 finalists at the recent 2020 Australian Law Awards online ceremony, presented by Lawyers Weekly.

Michael said he was honoured to receive the national award, which recognises “the outstanding performance of lawyers who have excelled in their first few years of legal practice, with exceptional potential to fast-track their rise through their legal careers”.

This followed his consecutive Law Student of the Year awards in 2019 and 2018.

“My past 18 months as a corporate lawyer at PwC have set a fantastic broad foundation for my career,” said Michael, who moved to Sydney in early 2019 for his graduate position.

“I received offers to study postgraduate law at both Cambridge and Oxford this year but decided not to proceed given the current COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“My move to Hamilton Locke will allow me to gain deeper specific experience and begin to specialise in my desired fields of Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity, and Capital Markets. I start in October.”

He said Sydney-based Hamilton Locke was one of Australia’s top 50 and fastest-growing law firms, transforming the traditional approach to corporate legal services and removing bureaucracy and administration to focus on solving complex client problems.

The USC Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning) graduate has also had his Honours thesis on corporate governance and shareholder activism published in the Australian Journal of Corporate Law.

“My paper proposes a new 'member/investor' paradigm which suggests a new way of thinking about shareholder influence and how it has changed over time,” he said.

It examined recent shareholder activism campaigns that suggested the emergence of a new form of shareholder activism in Australia.

“This is typified by confrontational and public ‘informational’ campaigns which can provide certain investors with more influence against listed companies and their boards,” Michael said. “It has many potential implications for Australia's corporate governance landscape.”

For details about studying at USC in 2021, go to

Community Coronavirus COVID-19 Law & Safety University & TAFE

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
USC social media class trends at Aus/NZ awards 14 October 2020 | The likes and positive comments are flowing for USC’s Social Media degree program after it gained high recognition at the 2020 Australian and New Zealand Social Media Marketing Awards. More information...
83% bushfire survival of endangered macadamia: USC research 01 October 2020 | USC-led research in Bulburin National Park, between Bundaberg and Gladstone, has recorded 83 percent survival of the wild population of an endangered native macadamia nut plant, following the 2019-20 summer... More information...
Research finds new way to help frail older people 30 September 2020 | A $6.9 million global research project involving USC as the only Australian partner has developed a new monitoring and intervention system to slow or even reverse the progression of frailty among older adults. More information...
Blue carbon focus for ocean-loving world champion 24 September 2020 | The coronavirus pandemic may have upset world champion stand-up paddleboarder Brianna Orams’ plans to compete in the sport’s 2020 Euro Tour – but the USC Environmental Science student refuses to see it as a... More information...
CIDSEL facilitates leadership conference for future diplomats 26 September 2020 | More than 40 young Australian university students from across the country have been selected to participate in the United States Embassy Student Leadership Program from August to December 2020. More information...
Report highlights USC’s financial benefit to regions 24 September 2020 | The significant financial impact that USC is having on its communities has been highlighted in a new report released today by the Regional Universities Network (RUN). More information...
Collateral damage: Deadly funnel-web spider toxin did not evolve to kill humans 22 September 2020 | While funnel-web spider bites in Australia can be deadly, a scientist from USC Australia has helped discover that human deaths are simply an unfortunate side-effect of the spider’s strong self-defence system. More information...
Jess designs a career that’s dedicated to dogs 21 September 2020 | Architectural designer Jess Johnson had a different career switch in mind when she decided to study Animal Ecology at USC – until she met a koala-detection dog named Bear and his other canine companions. More information...
USC students gain early start to media careers 17 September 2020 | Two USC Journalism students who recently secured full-time reporting jobs in a challenging media landscape say the secret to their success was embracing every opportunity to gain real-life skills through their... More information...
Time is right to explore uni options with free course 17 September 2020 | With many people reassessing their career goals due to COVID-19, USC is offering a free course for those wanting to sample higher education and explore their study opportunities. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service