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Country girl turned corporate lawyer takes out top gong

Bond University Alumna Alanna Rennie - winner of the Commercial Law category for Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards. 

Bond University Alumna Alanna Rennie speaks fluent mandarin, is an expert in plant breeder’s rights and is one of the country’s most promising young lawyers.

The country girl turned corporate lawyer recently took out the top gong in the Commercial Law category at the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards.

“It's very exciting and a really nice accomplishment to achieve at this point in my career,” says Miss Rennie.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Laws / Commerce at Bond University in 2016, Miss Rennie spent three years in Beijing where she undertook her Masters in Chinese Law.

“I started studying mandarin at 13 when I began boarding school in Sydney. From my first day of class, it was something I wanted to master,” explains Miss Rennie.

“It was a privilege to study at Tsinghua University. It gave me the opportunity to develop relationships with officials, judges, academics and businesses in the space, which laid strong foundations for my career today.”  

Over the course of her career Miss Rennie has developed a unique expertise in plant breeder's rights – a form of intellectual property which is relevant to agribusinesses.

“I grew up on a farm, and always wanted to work in the agriculture space in some form. My family always encouraged me to study law,” says Miss Rennie.

“I developed a strong foundation in intellectual property law from my studies and work in plant breeder's rights and in addition to helping me with agri-related work, it has provided me with the skill set to work on tech-heavy deals.

“It is a great combination as tech is permeating most aspects of agriculture today – varieties, precision technology, aerial imaging, envirotech, data and software. Most of the deals and matters I work in my current role at Baker McKenzie are agricultural and/or technology related.

"Bond was a huge stepping-stone for me and laid some very fundamental foundations for my career and my journey so far. It goes without saying that the Bond experience is exceptional, but for me what made it was the people."

Miss Rennie was one of 16 Bond University Alumni who were finalists in this year’s awards.

24-year-old Bond Alumna Sarvashree Singh was nominated in the Migration Law category for her work in helping evacuate and resettle senior government officials and UN personnel in Australia after the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan.

“It was by far the most challenging work I have done – these Afghan nationals were, and continue to be, subject to very real threats to their lives,” says Miss Singh.

“Their family members in Australia sought our assistance in facilitating their evacuation from Afghanistan and in accessing humanitarian visas for Australia.

“And supporting temporary visa holders facing DV at the hands of their sponsoring partners, is also incredibly challenging, but it is these human experiences which motivate me to do the absolute best that I can.”

Miss Singh credits her time at Bond with opening her eyes to the less traditional paths a law degree could lead her down.

“I had a great Bond experience, it really confirmed my passion for this area of work,” says Miss Singh.

“I had great mentorship and made personal connections with my lecturers. It helped me realise that you don’t have to take the traditional pathway of seeking a graduate role in a commercial law firm.”

“It really opened my mind to other options.”

Each year, Lawyers Weekly shines a light on the rising stars, at the age of 30 and under, recognising their tremendous efforts from the start of their careers.

A total of 274 finalists were chosen out of over 619 submissions, with 30 ultimately walking away with a trophy.

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