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Sophie Brooks-Miller

Sophie joined the team at Ajak Wolan & Associates in 2021, as a Senior Lawyer with carriage of a wide variety of criminal cases. With a balance of youth and adult crime, Sophie regularly appears in both the summary and indictable jurisdictions. She is a passionate solicitor and an experienced oral advocate, recognised for her attention to detail and a caring approach to client interactions. Sophie believes in a rehabilitative approach to criminal law, and is dedicated to helping her clients overcome the barriers they may face, and achieve positive legal and therapeutic outcomes.

Sophie Brooks-Miller

Sophie graduated from La Trobe University in 2016, with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of International Relations. She earned her Honours in Law by writing a pre-graduate thesis on the topic of Sentencing Mentally Impaired Offenders in Victoria – an area of law marked by the leading case of Verdins. Sophie developed this interest in the intersection between mental health and criminal law, due a humanitarian desire to help the vulnerable in our community. She also had the opportunity to publish case studies on sentencing mentally impaired offenders in the Victorian Sentencing Manual when working with the Judicial College of Victoria, the central body for the ongoing education of our judges and magistrates.

Sophie’s passion for aiding and empowering the vulnerable also extends to her regular work in youth crime at the Children’s Court of Victoria. Being a teacher’s daughter, working with children comes naturally to Sophie. Following her admission to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2017, Sophie moved back to Melbourne and commenced working at a busy criminal law practice, where her compassion and rapport with young people was quickly recognised. She immediately became the primary youth crime lawyer for that firm, whilst maintaining regular work in the Magistrates’ Court (including ARC, Drug Court, and the Koori Court) and the Higher Courts. 

Sophie joined the team at Ajak Wolan & Associates in 2021, as a Senior Lawyer with carriage of a wide variety of criminal cases. With a balance of youth and adult crime, Sophie regularly appears in both the summary and indictable jurisdictions. She is a passionate solicitor and an experienced oral advocate, recognised for her attention to detail and a caring approach to client interactions. Sophie believes in a rehabilitative approach to criminal law, and is dedicated to helping her clients overcome the barriers they may face, and achieve positive legal and therapeutic outcomes.

Education

Leo Cussen Centre for Law, 2016:  Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

  • Commended by supervisors on my professionalism, high-quality file work and advocacy skills.
  • Included a 3 week professional placement with the Litigation Team at the Department of Human Services.

La Trobe University, 2011-2016:  B. Laws (Hons) and B. International Relations

Honours & Awards

  • Honours Thesis on Sentencing Mentally Impaired Offenders in Victoria (Verdins Principles),  10,000 words
  • Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence (A average), 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • La Trobe Award for Leadership, 2012
  • Scholarship for Academic Excellence, duration of study

Legal Experience

  • Solicitor Advocate (Criminal Law), Richard Revill Lawyers, Aug 2017 – September 2021: Conduct of defence matters, file preparation and daily court appearances in the Children’s Court, Magistrates’ Court and County Court.  Demonstrated high standard of care and professional skill when handling clients matters. 
  • Legal work placement with Department of Human Services, Freedom of Information and Litigation Branch, 2016 (3 weeks, part of Leo Cussen course) – conducted legal research, prepared case summaries, attended case conferences and hearings at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, attended meetings and professional development seminars, and prepared training materials.  Liaised with private law firms for advice and briefing.
  • Internship with the Judicial College of Victoria, 2014 - conducted legal research, summarised sentencing appeals, formatted publications, and assisted with the running of seminars and programs.
  • Mentorship with Ms. Joanne Bowers BA, LLB Hons., 2013-2014 – received advised-based mentorship and career planning through the Victorian Women Lawyers’ Mentoring Program.  
  • Judicial Mentoring Program placement with Coroner Heather Spooner, Coroner’s Court of Victoria, 2013 – took notes and identified relevant information for questioning purposes during inquests and then drafted evidence summaries and findings for the Coroner.
  • Legal work placement with Mr. Stephen Wright LLB, Wright Gilmour Barristers and Solicitors, Tasmania, 2011 (4 weeks) - observed client meetings, attended court, and conducted research into possible arguments for clients.
  • Legal work placement with Mr. Christopher Bartlett LLB, at Bartletts Barristers and Solicitors, Tasmania, 2008 (2 weeks) - observed client meetings and court proceedings, and helped compile and file documents.

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member of Victorian Women Lawyers Association, 2011-Present
  • Member of the Law Institute of Victoria, 2013-Present