The University of Queensland Law Graduates Association (UQLGA) was established to foster links between graduates and the Law School. It provides a valuable forum through which members can maintain links with other graduates or forge new ties with others in the profession.
The UQLGA in conjunction with the TC Beirne School of Law administers the UQ Law Mentor Program which matches students enrolled in the LLB with a practising legal professional who offers guidance and support to the student. The Law School launched its new Practitioner-in-Residence (PIR) program with UQLGA President John McKenna SC spending a week in the role of 'Silk-in-Residence' at the end of March 2013. The PIR program aims to provide an opportunity for accomplished legal practitioners to share their insights and expertise with members of the law school community. The UQLGA also helps its members to organise class reunions, and occasionally hosts speaker events at which UQLGA members and guests learn about important topics while networking with peers, colleagues and other professionals.
The UQLGA is administered by an Executive Committee which is comprised of prominent legal practitioners, Law School staff, and student representatives from the University of Queensland Law Society (UQLS), the Justice and the Law Society (JATL) and the Australian Legal Philosophy Students Association (ALPSA).
For many years graduates and friends of the Law School advocated the creation of an alumni association. On 6 January 1993 the then Head of School, Professor Geoff de Q Walker, called a preliminary meeting of the Association. The first meeting of a Steering Committee was held on 27 January 1993.
The first function hosted by the Association was a dinner for graduates on 1 July 1994, the guest speaker for which was Mr Campbell McComas, a prominent Victorian lawyer and comedian. The UQLGA was formally launched on 16 August 1994 at a well-attended Vice Chancellor's reception at the UQ Centre.
The inaugural Patron of the Association was Mrs Leneen Forde, former Queensland Governor (LLB 1970), whilst the late Sir Harry Gibbs (LLB 1939; LLM 1946; Hon. LLD 1980) and the late Sir Walter Campbell (LLB 1948) were Vice Patrons. The foundation President was The Hon. Mr Justice Connolly (LLB 1949) and the Vice President was the late Justice Robert Douglas RFD (LLB 1968) of the Supreme Court. The current President is John McKenna SC (BA/LLB first class honours).
The Association has held regular functions since its inception and operates under a Constitution which was adopted on 19 April 1993. The UQLGA was fundamental in the establishment of the Law School’s first Summer Program which ran from 24 January to 18 February in 1994.
In 2007 the UQLGA, in conjunction with the Law School, launched the very successful UQ Law Mentor Program which matches LLB students with legal professionals who provide practical advice and guidance about studying and practising law.