Student Reflections – Drew Vicary

All good things must come to an end. As I leave this place they call Australia, I can only hope it’s not a permanent goodbye. This was my second time in Australia, and I would not object to coming back for a 3rd trip anytime in the future. From meeting with corporate executives, to partners in global legal firms, to judges in Australia’s court system, this trip provided me with a very broad range of information. Our classroom focus was on international white collar crime and the increasing globalization of prosecuting those types of cases. All of the people we met with on this trip strongly confirmed this trend of globalization. Whether it be money laundering or a ponzi scheme, the reach of the white collar crimes seen today spans from the United States into all areas of the globe. We got to hear some firsthand accounts of these types of cases when we visited the U.S. Consulate.

After getting escorted through some intense security protocols (i.e. no bathroom visit without an escort), we met with various departments of U.S. law enforcement branches. Clearly, since they were based in Sydney they dealt with many Australian based crimes. However, all of the department members we spoke with had direct dealings in various parts of Asia as well. No one dealt with cases that focused only in Australia. Whether they were tracing crimes back to the U.S., or trying to follow the money trail from the U.S. to Australia to Asia to Columbia, the global presence of the scheme was crystal clear. It was fascinating to hear some of the “war stories” the agents spoke of. You can read about crimes in the newspaper, but it is 100 times more intriguing to hear it directly from the mouth of the person who investigated the crime and brought the criminals to justice. The U.S. Consulate visit was one of my favorite aspects of the trip. Even if you were not interested in what they were saying, which would have been impossible, the conference room overlooked Sydney Harbor from 60 some odd floors up. Apparently our taxpayer money works well in high-rent districts.

I leave this class with an even greater interest in white-collar crime. It is an area of the law that interests me greatly. I would like to work in the private sector investigating these corporate frauds someday down the line and I think this trip will be greatly beneficial in my pursuit of such a position. It was extremely motivating to see and hear firsthand what a day in that life would be like. Although I probably couldn’t afford to live in Sydney, there is only one way to find out. I can think of many worse places to live. This trip was simply incredible. I would recommend it to any law student or MBA student. My post-trip depression is setting in at full force. I better go look at some pictures to relive some of the memories.

P.S. I miss Bondi.

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