Welcome to the first staff snapshot for 2015. Each month we will interview a La Trobe Law School academic about their research interests and career trajectories. Today’s post features Ozlem Susler, Lecturer, who teaches, researches and writes about international dispute resolution.
What are your research interests?
My research interests are somewhat varied but primarily I am interested in examining international appropriate dispute resolution. My current research is examining the attitude of state courts to international commercial arbitration. I aim to conduct research in countries where ADR has not been embraced as much and why this may be the case. I am also interested in developing strategies on how such countries may be assisted to adopt ADR, particularly in jurisdictions where there is a substantial backlog of civil litigation matters to be heard. My research interest lies in Asian countries where ADR has not been legitimised as much, yet could serve a very important need. The next step is to compare my findings to other Asian countries which have embraced ADR and to understand why this has occurred. What factors contribute to the success of ADR in such jurisdictions in Asia. I am also interested in gender equality issues and why women are still underrepresented in certain professions and in senior positions within particular professions such as the Bar where there are few female Senior Counsel.
What was your career pathway prior to joining the La Trobe Law School?
I was in commercial practice as a solicitor for a while. Having young children at the time made it difficult to have a work life balance, however, given the long hours required as a solicitor in practice. Academia seemed like an attractive alternative where more flexibility and autonomy was offered. The rest is history, as they say. Rather than calculate billable hours, I prefer to calculate my success by my students’ success.
What has been your most memorable experience teaching at La Trobe Law School?
Without a doubt, coaching the Vis students. My most memorable experience has been when my students and I participated for the first time at the Willem C. Vis Moot in Hong Kong and I saw the beaming faces of my students. I was so proud of what they had achieved. They had put their faith in me and vice versa. One of them had received an honourable mention for his performance at our inaugural participation. It is times like this which remind me why I chose to teach at La Trobe Law School. To see the progression in students and how they flourish gives me immense satisfaction.