At the tender age of 24, Sean Lau has already chalked up some impressive achievements, including the University Medal in Law and First Class Honours in Philosophy at the University of New South Wales in 2012.
Sean Lau is the kind of student who could choose to study whatever he likes. After graduating from James Ruse Agricultural High School, with a University Admissions Index of 99.90, Lau considered medicine and optometry before deciding to study arts and law on a Scientia Scholarship at the University of NSW.
“To be honest, I fell into law by accident,” he explains. “It was a bit more of a generalist degree and it seemed to be a good thing for people who didn’t really know what to do.” We’re talking in the café on the ground floor of Sydney’s Governor Macquarie Tower, where Lau used to work as the Legal Officer to Justice Peter McClellan, chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, before heading off to Oxford University.
“Basically, my job was to work directly under Justice McClellan and our Senior Counsel, Gail Furness, and to provide advice about some of the really difficult legal problems the Royal Commission faces,” he says. “Procedural fairness and natural justice issues came up quite often. I also helped in a research capacity on a couple of our major projects.”