Law and Business

Emma Berry, Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce

Emma Berry

Emma Berry
Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce
ACU Law Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Bursary Scholarship Recipient

Reason for choosing Law:
I am currently studying a Law/Commerce double degree. Whilst in high school I studied Legal Studies and became quite interested in the law, and what I could do for society if I went into the profession. I realised it was my passion, and decided to enrol in it, including in Commerce as a second degree. I did this because I knew that having two degrees would give me an advantage when finding graduate positions, and it was a good way to understand the more business side of law.

Reason for choosing ACU: ACU was a high preference for me because it introduced a global and technology based perspective on law, and how the law was evolving to suit the needs of an ethical and ever-expanding society. Although it was a new course, I still felt like I was enrolling in a high standard law school as our lecturers and tutors were both practically and academically some of the best in their fields, giving me a broader perspective of the law that is often not provided at larger universities. Lastly, the class sizes were ideal as it meant I could interact more with fellow students and lecturers to engage in the material that we were learning, making classes comfortable, fun and interesting.

Highlight of the first year of law: The highlight so far is the opportunity to participate and experience things that I wouldn't have had the chance to do otherwise. Law school introduces such a diverse and different study than other courses, especially with ACU's pro bono placements. I've had the opportunity to work in a large commercial law firm's pro bono department and work with the Supreme Court of Victoria. Further, with being in a smaller university I've been able to try things that many law students don't have the opportunity to experience, such as being Events VP for the Law Student Society, Secretary for the Debating Society, and going to Perth to the Australian Law Students Association conference. It would be hard to choose from such fantastic highlights!

The best thing of studying Law at ACU: The best thing of studying Law at ACU is the small classes. It provides the best learning environment where not only are you just sitting and listening to your lecturer, but you're able to engage with them. You can spend more time asking or answering questions, you get the opportunity to know your lecturer and fellow students. It’s a tight-knit community where we work together, instead of being lost in a sea of 1000 students.

Scholarship Received: I have been awarded the ACU Law Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Bursary Scholarship and received $5000 in 2014. This scholarship has meant that I've been able to cut down my hours at work and focus on my studies, without the burden of financial hardship. It's made travelling into university easier as I've had to worry less if I need to drive in, and I've noticed a spike in my grades since being able to dedicate more of my time to readings, tutorial questions and general study. The bursary was significantly beneficial when before exams my laptop unexpectedly broke. I was able to buy a new one without needing to worry about where I was going to get the extra money from, and I could go on with exam preparation with little more than a speed bump in my way.

The positive impact that the financial assistance makes to my life: Financially it allows me to not worry about earning money as much, so work is mostly so I can get experience within the legal field. I can focus on putting the scholarship money towards my studies, textbook costs, and travelling to the university.

Where I find motivation: My motivation mostly comes from my love of the law. I find that doing my readings is hardly a chore as it’s quite interesting for me. When it does get difficult, my motivation also comes from knowing how far I've come since high school, where becoming a lawyer was a very distant dream, and working towards my goal of finding a graduate position in a successful law firm or legal organisation.

How I strike a balance of study, life and work: I ensure that I organise my study time into specific times during the week, around any events that I have throughout the week and my work days. I try not to drain myself with study - often I find it's good to go out for a break and then come back, where I'm refreshed and can work smarter and harder.

My ultimate career goal: I'm currently unsure about where I'd like to venture towards, but I'm incredibly interested in furthering social justice in the world. Ideally I see myself eventually working for the United Nations.

Advice to the students thinking about studying ACU Law: Law is something that is worth studying, if not for the goal of going into it in your career, but for utilising it in whatever field you choose to go in. It's a diverse subject that gives you the opportunity to go further in your career than you can imagine. ACU offers a fantastic course, with a small cohort so you can get the opportunities and direction you need to succeed.