Gaining insight into the world of law
Pipi Coddington

Pipi Coddington is in her fourth year of studying a Bachelor of Law (Honours)/International Relations at ANU.

I think my experience has allowed me to see more of a complete picture of working in law.

Pipi Coddington’s journey into the world of law was ignited during a transformative gap year completing a legal traineeship at a local law firm in her hometown of Young.

“I think this sparked a desire that no matter what I do with my degree I want to make sure I keep in mind how the law affects individuals,” she said. 

After completing her traineeship, Pipi relocated to Canberra to study a Bachelor of Law (Honours)/International Relations at The Australian National University (ANU).

Growing up in the “cherry capital of Australia”, Pipi was drawn to ANU because “Canberra seemed to be the perfect big city with small town vibes”.

“I have felt a real sense of community since relocating to Canberra in 2021,” she said.

Pipi choose to study law at ANU because of the honours component embedded in our degree structure. 

“It seemed like a great way to develop a versatile skill set from the beginning of my degree,” she said. 

The ANU law school also appealed to Pipi because of our “reputation for teaching in a way that reflects current policy and law landscapes”, as well as our “great academics and teaching staff”. 

Three years after she commenced her studies at ANU, Pipi seized another opportunity to gain “insight into the world of law in practice” by working as a paralegal officer at the University Legal Office (ULO). 

“I think most students would agree when studying law, you get really caught up in textbooks and cases but it’s really great to be able to experience work in a legal office and have academic skills complement practical skills,” she said. 

“I think my experience has allowed me to see more of a complete picture of working in law.”

The ULO is responsible for providing legal services to executive, administrative and academic units at ANU.   

“The work I was involved in often included legal research to assist with legal matters for general counsel, creating and executing legal memos and legal documents such as chronologies and indexes,” Pipi said.

“I was also lucky enough to assist the team with managing the ULO’s extensive legal precedent suite, which was a side of legal practice that I hadn’t been exposed to before.” 

During her time at the ULO, Pipi had the opportunity to pursue her interest in intellectual property (IP) law. 

“I was exposed to various elements of the IP law regime in Australia,” she said. 

“I think this area of law is interesting and exciting for me because it is ever evolving to reflect human innovation and creativity. 

“I think it is often an overlooked area of law however it is becoming increasingly important today in areas of protecting First Nations cultural knowledge and navigating artificial intelligence (AI) technology.” 

Over the course of her employment at the ULO, Pipi developed valuable new skills and a profound understanding of the law in practice.  

“The ability to conduct legal research in a wide range of legal areas was a skill I gained that I think will be very useful for both my studies and employment in the future,” she said. “Also assisting experienced lawyers with their work, has shown me the depth and breadth of knowledge that can be gained from working in legal practice.”

As she enters into her fourth year of study at ANU, Pipi plans to continue to build her career as a paralegal. 

“I’ve been lucky enough to be mentored and taught all these new skills that in the immediate future I want to put them to good use and keep the ball rolling,” she said. 

“I would like to take any opportunity that comes my way in gaining employment or experience in the legal sector as a paralegal.

“I’m excited to see what comes next in my law school and post-graduation journey even if I’m not too sure what that looks like for me yet.”