Scholarship Winner Joins Taree Law Firm
Article and photo courtesy of MANNING RIVER TIMES
Welcome to Stacks: Tim Stack (right) welcomes James Heath to the firm.
A $2000 annual scholarship scheme begun by Taree law firm Stacks to promising local school leavers has had its first success with law student James Heath graduating last week and getting his first job – with Stacks/The Law Firm.
James was the first school leaver to get the Stacks scholarship of $1000 paid every six months while studying when the scholarships began in 2004. He’d got top marks in the HSC from St Clare’s High School and went on to study arts/law at the University of New England in Armidale, earning distinction averages.
He attended his graduation ceremony last weekend, and the same week the 23-year-old returned to Taree to start his first job as a young lawyer after being offered a position with Stacks.
“The scholarship was a tremendous help,” James said. “It paid for text books and other things. But it wasn’t just the money, it was the knowledge that somebody believed in me and was supporting me. It gave me an incentive as I didn’t want to let them down.”
James spent time as a law student doing work experience with Stacks, and experienced lawyers in the Taree firm acted as his mentors and gave valuable advice and support.
Stacks Law Firm chairman Maurie Stack OAM said the scholarship to local law students was a way of paying back to the community the help given to his father, the founder of the law firm Edward Raymond Stack, in the hard years after World War I.
E R Stack came from a poor farming family in Bogan Gate, a village between Parkes and Forbes in western NSW. He got his start when he won a scholarship to Fort Street High School in 1918 and then a scholarship to Sydney University Law School. He founded the law firm in Taree in 1931.
“Without those scholarships given to E R Stack there would be no Stacks/The Law Firm today,” Maurie Stack said. “We are paying back part of that debt through providing scholarships to promising local students.”
A total of 20 local students are currently on the $2000 a year scholarship to encourage their law studies. Each year Stacks asks local schools to nominate a school leaver who wants to study law and a panel picks the most promising youngster.