Two Slater and Gordon lawyers have today been announced as finalists in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2017.
Susan Accary (Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Law – Victoria) has been nominated for Senior Associate of the Year, while Veronika Drago (Criminal Law – Victoria) has been nominated for Young Gun of the Year.
Ms Accary, who started with the firm as a graduate in 2010, presently manages 14 staff as part of the firm’s Melbourne and Frankston MVA teams. She also runs a number of complex cases in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, County Court and Supreme Court.
She said her passion and dedication for social justice and mentoring junior lawyers drove her to work hard for her clients and colleagues each day.
Ms Accary has also provided free community legal service work, has run free legal seminars for major hospitals, doctors and social workers and is a regular speaker for the Australian Association of Social Workers and guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne.
For the past two years, Ms Drago has worked across all areas of criminal law, often going above and beyond – appearing in all courts, tribunals and forums where required – to ensure her clients’ best interests are met.
“I am extremely passionate about the work, which is so unique – no two cases are alike and each client’s story is different,” Ms Drago said. “The nature of the work means you are often on the back foot. It is a matter of how you manage that position and navigate through all the variables.”
Ms Drago is a Director for charity Free to Feed (a pop up cooking school run by asylum seekers) and also volunteers with Fitzroy Legal Service and the Co-Ground Limited (improving education in the Asia-Pacific region). She has also volunteered at the MITA Detention Centre and has been a civil celebrant since 2014.
“I find it important to have a social conscience both in my professional capacity and as an everyday person,” Ms Drago said. “A small amount of time volunteering can have an enormous impact on someone’s life.”
Ms Drago has also relished opportunities to discuss her work in the media, including an appearance on the Ten Network’s The Project relating to micro dosing (illicit drugs) as well as media interviews focused on topics such as drinking alcohol in public on New Year’s Eve and revenge porn.
Now in its sixth consecutive year, the Women in Law Awards includes 20 categories that recognise individual excellence in law, from the profession’s most senior ranks to its rising stars. It aims to identify top female talent across Australia who strive for professional excellence within their specific practice areas.
Winners in the individual categories will automatically be shortlisted for the coveted Women in Law Excellence Award. Winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony in Melbourne on Friday 20 October.