When it came time to apply to university, flexible double degree law student, Neil Bookseller, says the ability to combine law with international relations made ANU law his first choice. Here, Neil speaks about why he chose ANU law, and what’s made his first year of study so memorable:
I wanted an on campus experience, but I knew I wouldn’t get that living in Sydney because my parents were locals as well. So I chose to move to ANU because it’s also ranked as the number 15 law school in the world so that was a good motivation for me.
I’m studying a double degree of law combined with international relations and in international relations I’m specialising in globalisation.
When I was in high school I was trying to get a feel of what I wanted to do. My first preference was science-type subjects because I took science and math in high school. But I wasn’t really interested in it plus I wasn’t really good at it. So I chose to do something I actually wanted to do, which was more towards human rights and how the world works, along with globalisation and trade. So I chose law and international relations.
So for international relations it’s pretty interesting. Right now we’re studying different theories and concepts that shape the world. It’s literally the basis of how the world operates. And law is very practical-based, so we get scenarios and we solve them like real-life lawyers would do so that kind of gets you the feel of what the real world would be like outside of university. I found it interesting that they take the practical approach right from the first year. And they make us do mooting which is pretty much literally walk up in front of a judge and present your case.
I’ve been part of two law competitions on how to interview your client and get the facts out of them that you need to represent the case, and then actually represent the case in a moot court.
I just feel like getting the knowledge from the books, just learning the law, just learning what the relations are, what the theories are, I don’t think that would be very helpful. I think it’s more helpful if we get a taste of how a lawyer would actually work.
I’m looking hopefully to do something as a human rights lawyer or criminal lawyer when I graduate.
Right now I’m living at Fenner Hall. Living in a campus residence, I get to learn what it’s like to be independent. So you really get that feeling of independence, cooking your own food and at the same time you get to get involved in all these activities with your friends. You also make new connections and you represent your own culture as well.
We have different festivities we celebrate from all sorts of religions and countries. So I think we get a really good exposure to the world beyond Canberra and Australia and we really get to experience all of that.
I signed up to a couple of clubs at the market day in orientation week – the IR Society, the Law Society. Because I have an Indian background I wanted to be part of some Asian clubs so I can stay in touch with my culture so I can still have my values base and share it with my friends as well.