Jeremy (Wei Peng) Soh
Why did you choose ANU?
I came to ANU and really loved the environment and academics here. I thought that not many people get this opportunity, so I was going to take it.
Have you undertaken any international opportunities or clinical internships? If so, how have they shaped your outlook on law?
I undertook an internship at the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman working in the legal team processing freedom of information requests and carrying out legal research.
I was reading articles (for the internship paper), and there was sort of unanimous praise for the Ombudsman. It makes sense; it seems to be effective. But then I realised no one had ever tried to ‘evidence’ these claims with objective, measured metrics. I thought I could fill that gap through my paper, which I wanted to be useful for the Ombudsman Office. My supervisor thought it was a very ambitious task, but she was very supportive.
When I received an email (from journal editor Professor Matthew Groves) saying my article had been approved for publishing, it was surreal. I was just lost for words. Not many undergraduate students have the chance to be published in a research journal, and to have the first submission accepted without revision was even more amazing. Mostly, I’m just pleased to produce something with real-world value – it’s a really nice feeling.
Find out more about Jeremy's paper, “Creating a Framework for Evaluating the ‘Effectiveness’ of the Commonwealth Ombudsman”, here.
Who has been your most influential academic and why?
When I started at ANU, Administrative Law (LAWS2201) was one of those really scary subjects. I had serious trepidation. It definitely has a reputation for being one of those harder courses, but I was really lucky to have Associate Professor Greg Weeks as a lecturer. I enjoyed it so much, I thought, ‘You know what? I’ll do Advanced Administrative Law (LAWS4262) as an elective, too.’
A major reason I came to ANU was because of the academics, and Greg’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching was immediately infectious. I wasn’t just going through the motions of admin law; I found myself wanting to go further, and that sealed my decision to take admin law as an elective.
What are your next steps, planned or aspired, after graduation?
Over the past four years, I’ve had different experiences in law and corporate consulting. I genuinely enjoy many areas of law, including administrative law, so I think a non-linear career is really exciting. That’s the beauty of our generation – there are so many opportunities.
What advice would you give future ANU Law students?
My recommendation is to just give it a go and give it your best. You have nothing to lose. When I went into Administrative Law as a compulsory course, I never thought I would enjoy it or decide to take an elective. When I did Advanced Administrative Law, I never thought I would do so well or it would lead to my experience at the Commonwealth Ombudsman. And when I did my internship, I never thought it would lead to being published in a peer-reviewed journal.
I guess the moral of the story is to keep an open mind and never close yourself off from any opportunity.
Learn more about internships available for ANU College of Law students.