JD (Online): Expand knowledge and professional opportunities without uprooting your life

Margot Kelly
Photo by Rick Eaves

It’s made it easier to communicate with people and to appreciate the barriers that they face in understanding the legal aspects of their industry.

Margot Kelly is a JD Online student and a Rural Reporter with ABC Tasmania.

Why did you want to study a Juris Doctor?

I’m curious to understand the institutions that underpin our society.
I did an undergraduate degree in journalism which was about being able to quickly get a shallow depth of knowledge about a broad range of topics. But I had an underlying curiosity and desire to go deeper with my knowledge base and skill set. It made sense to me to pursue studying law once I had a little bit of work and life experience under my belt.

Why did you choose ANU College of Law?

I chose ANU because it has a reputation for being the best.
I wanted an academically and intellectually rigorous learning environment, as well as being able to apply that knowledge to the real world. ANU has that reputation for its practical application as well as being an internationally renowned institution.

Why are you doing the JD Online?

Initially, when I began researching courses I had some concerns about studying completely by distance. I worried that it might be a watered down version or an afterthought to a conventional degree. But ANU Law has actively made the online offering different from the campus version and they’ve thought about different learning formats to suit someone living in a regional area.
All three of the things I was looking for came together: I wanted to do the study post-grad; I wanted it to be from the best institution possible; and I wanted it to be through the right delivery method. The course has exceeded expectations, the online delivery is highly polished and seamless.

Will your JD help you change direction in your career or will it inform your career as a journalist?

I think it will do both. The exciting thing for me as an agricultural reporter is that many areas of the law that are new and unchartered pertain to agriculture, and many of the case studies that we’ve been studying have been about the industries that I’m immersed in. Already it has informed what I do. Already it’s made it easier to communicate with people and to appreciate the barriers that they face in understanding the legal aspects of their industry.

What does it mean to be able to stay in rural Tasmania while you study?

For me it means that although I’m living in an isolated place I still feel connected to other parts of Australia that I want to engage with and be part of.
I’m unbelievably grateful that I can access this style of learning while living in Burnie because the opportunity for education where I’m living is very limited. I was living in Sydney and uprooted my life to work in Burnie and I’m giving it everything I’ve got, but still being able to study makes me feel very fortunate that this sort of degree can be offered in this way while still being reliable and of a high quality.

Learn more about the Juris Doctor (Online) and other courses from ANU College of Law.

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Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team