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  • Writer's pictureMarie Hadley

Book Review: Michael Kirby: Law, Love & Life by Daryl Dellora

Michael Kirby book cover

When I began writing this book review, I mulled over how I would do this book justice. Put simply, if you’re a Kirby fan you’ll relish every single word of this extremely well written and deeply insightful biography.

Unlike previous biographies about Michael Kirby’s extraordinary life, this text provides readers with a glimpse into the Kirby family and explores his academic life throughout high school and university.

While as law students we are familiar with Kirby J from the High Court of Australia, this beautifully written book offers an insight into the secret behind Michael Kirby’s extremely successful legal career. As he states: “Well, love has a lot to do with it.”

It is not a coincidence that the word “love” is positioned in the centre of the alliterative title of this book; the central message underlying this text is that love was the bedrock of Michael Kirby’s life in the law, whether it’s his profound love for the law or because he has had the support of a loving family and partner. What this book demonstrates is that love has been, and continues to be, central to Michael Kirby’s life.

The part of the book that really resonated with me was the discussion about Michael’s passion for his studies and ultimately for the law. Perhaps it was this passion that has always made Kirby J’s judgments my favourite law readings. Michael Kirby has never been afraid or ashamed to put a human face on the law.

This accessibility shines through in this biography as it teaches law students and young lawyers that you don’t have to separate your passions from your career; in fact, one lesson I learnt from this book is that the key to a successful life in the law is using your passions to fuel your legal career.

I encourage every single law student to read this book. Not only will you gain an insight into Michael Kirby’s amazing legal career and life, but you’ll also be inspired by invaluable lessons about law, love and life.

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