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Intellectual satisfaction and legal literacy leads alumnus to Uber

6 June 2017
Ben Brooks is helping Uber work constructively with lawmakers

The recent Arts/Law graduate works in Uber's Public Policy and Government Relations team, where he helps the ride-sharing giant understand and influence legislation, and regulates their transport technology.

Ben Brooks graduated in 2016 and attributes his studies at Sydney Law School as vital to his current role

“My work has involved political engagement or regulatory analysis in almost fifteen jurisdictions across South East Asia and Oceania, including leading government relations in countries as diverse as Vietnam and New Zealand,” said Ben.

The work of Ben’s team has influenced legislation, regulations, reviews and political campaigns across the region.

“It is important that these regulations are rational and responsive, and I am proud that our efforts are delivering better outcomes on the ground,” said Ben.

Ben graduated in 2016 and attributes his studies at Sydney Law School as vital to his current role.

“Legal literacy is really valuable,” he added.

“Our policy work fundamentally involves law reform. We need to both understand what the law is in respect of a particular matter, and offer a compelling vision of what it should be.

“Politicians and regulators are often uncertain or suspicious about new technology and new models.

“Familiarity with the logic of the law means that we can more effectively engage with those who make the law,” said Ben.

Ben's role involves articulating Uber's transport technology in a way that resonates with legislators.

Ben Brook's role involves articulating Uber's transport technology in a way that resonates with legislators

 

Ben decided to undertake studies at The University of Sydney as he felt Australia’s first university supported “education for education’s sake”.

“Courses are designed for intellectual satisfaction rather than ‘employability’ alone - although employability is often a happy corollary of intellectual satisfaction,” said Ben.

He enjoyed the opportunities to engage in research and long-form writing, both within and beyond formal coursework.

“I chose research-heavy electives in areas such as constitutional law, criminal law and jurisprudence.

“I also pursued student journalism, essay competitions and research assistance, which gave me an opportunity to explore legal issues beyond the Priestley Eleven,” he said.

Over the course of his combined degree, Ben participated in various overseas and corporate initiatives, including the St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland, on the basis of an essay on small commercial drone regulation.

Google Australia also sponsored Ben to undertake a project with the Grattan Institute in Melbourne to research support for technology startups in Australia, including challenges ahead and potential policy responses.

“During my time with the Grattan Institute, I designed a research project involving interviews with stakeholders across the tech startup sector, including founders, venture capitalists and policymakers,” said Ben.

Additionally, in his second year, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences sponsored Ben to travel overseas with Global Voices and the Australian-Israel Chamber of Commerce to study startup activity in Israel.