Studying law abroad: Why a JD from ANU is perfect for Canada’s aspiring law students

Danica Smith

We’re in the nation’s capital and I can’t think of a better place in Australia to study law.

Aspiring lawyer and ANU College of Law Juris Doctor student Danica Smith has moved from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Canberra, Australia and not just for the sunshine.

I can pinpoint the moment in high school that I decided I wanted to do law

I was 16 and up until then I thought I would go into the sciences. Then in my Grade 11 English class I did my first debate. From that moment on I realised I couldn’t do science, I had to do this. I started looking into all of the different kinds of careers that involved debating and arguing. Naturally that led me to law.

Law in Canada is a post-graduate degree

I did my undergraduate degree in Commerce and Human Resource Management. I really enjoyed my human resources class and I realised I enjoyed it because of the legal issues present in it. Learning about employment law, workers’ compensation, employer and employee rights and responsibilities reaffirmed for me that law was the right choice and from then I wanted to take it in the direction of employment law or something in the private sector relating to commercial law.

Academic merit drew me to ANU

It made sense to me to go to one of the best schools in the world, especially with the JD being so transferable internationally as a degree. The JD is offered in many Commonwealth countries with Canada, the US and Australia being the most transferable for my purposes. I was attracted to Australia because of the incredible similarities in law and culture between Canada and Australia.

Canberra is an incredible place to study law

Law is everywhere here. We’re in the nation’s capital and I can’t think of a better place in Australia to study law. I’ve been down to the Parliamentary zone and I’ll be visiting the High Court. It’s so accessible and to be able to see the law being made is a real addition to my education.

I’m surprised by how much I love the lifestyle

I always expected the academic experience to be fulfilling but I was surprised by how great the social life is. Everybody here has been so welcoming and I’ve yet to meet someone at the law school who’s actually from Canberra. Everyone is either an international student like me or they’re from other parts of Australia which is really cool. I think it has a lot to do with the size of our cohort. It’s quite small so it’s easy to connect with like-minded people. Everyone is here for the same reason and everyone is so happy to be here.

Danica Smith

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