I chose to study law at ANU because I had finished my year 12 studies and was not entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life. Due to its flexibility, I thought a law degree would provide me with incredible opportunities in the future. I chose the ANU because I grew up in Canberra and felt privileged to have one of the world’s leading universities in my home city.
My most memorable experiences have been through the clinical courses offered at the ANU College of Law. Although I have appreciated the theoretical legal knowledge I have obtained throughout my degree, it has been the opportunity to see the way the law affects the general public and the way this knowledge can be utilised to help people that has been most memorable. My experiences at the Youth Law Clinic (LAWS4267), a self-arranged internship with Legal Aid ACT, and the Prison Legal Literacy Clinic reinvigorated my passion for law and informed the direction of my career aspirations.
Canberra is a great student city because it has all the resources of a large city while maintaining liveability.
My experience of the Prison Legal Literacy Clinic (LAWS6304) has been incredible. The kindness, positivity, honesty and openness of the detainees, despite being in an environment that is fundamentally dehumanising, is something that will remain with me for life. Although confronting, the experience of attending a correctional facility and forming human relationships with individuals who have been significantly impacted by the law was the most rewarding experience I have had throughout my studies. I would encourage all law students to consider applying for this course, there is simply no other law course quite like the Prison Legal Literacy Clinic.
In conjunction with the other five students enrolled in the course, Associate Professor Anthony Hopkins and Sarouche Razi, my work at the Prison Legal Literacy Clinic involved leading workshops for detainees on police powers, sentencing, human rights and parole. The knowledge of the detainees was commendable and often humbling. As law students, we were able to provide information in relation to legislation and case law. However, the detainees’ knowledge of how the law applied in real-world contexts was a stark reminder that legal education should be expanded beyond theoretical analysis.
After graduating I hope to obtain my Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and practice as a solicitor. Through my experiences at ANU, I have developed a keen interest in advocacy, criminal law and the legal assistance sector. As such, I would love to practice as a criminal lawyer.
My advice to new students is to remain positive and persevere. My studies have been filled with many academic successes and setbacks, more often setbacks than successes. At various times throughout my degree, I felt alienated from my studies and often questioned whether I was competent enough to be a law student. I would encourage all students to step out of their comfort zone and engage in courses that will challenge their views of the law and wider society. In doing so, I would urge new students to embrace their uniqueness as I have learnt that your differences can be your greatest strengths and there is no single mould for successful law students and legal practitioners.
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