I am currently in my fourth year of studying a Bachelor of Law and Commerce at Melbourne.
University for me has been great. There is always something happening and always something to do. I have made some great mates in both law and commerce and have no regrets in studying at ACU whatsoever.
While law is challenging, there is more to university life than what happens inside the classroom. The experiences outside of the classroom are just as important as studying law itself. For example, the Thomas More Law School has allowed me to participate in handing out coats to the homeless over the past four years. In my experience, these little community initiatives are what separates ACU from other universities.
I choose ACU because the current Dean of Law at the time, Brian Fitzgerald, was a fantastic advocate and completely sold me at ACU open day. In 2014, when I started, the Thomas Law School was entering its second year of operation. The university was putting a lot of time and effort into making the law school a success and grow into what it has become, four years later.
Upon leaving high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. You could say I chose law and commerce because it was a very broad degree and allowed me to leave my opportunities open, however, I really did not know what I was getting myself into. I got good grades at school while studying primarily maths and science, but for some reason I decided to shake it up and give law and commerce a go.
My lecturers and tutors have always been highly intelligible and approachable. Small class sizes enable interactive teaching and forces students to become involved and learn from one another. All ACU lecturers and tutors are highly experienced professionals, some of which practise outside of teaching. Their ability to not only assist students understand the educational side of law but also how the material is applicable to practice has thoroughly benefited me.
Students are able to develop relationships with their tutors and lecturers, which is reflective of the small class sizes and cohorts, as well as the willingness of ACU staff to go beyond their role as a teacher.
My advice to prospective students would be to get yourself involved at ACU and make the most of your university opportunities. Studying at university is an expensive educational experience and often students will hold doubts as to whether their course is cut out for them. Like all universities, ACU will challenge you, push you and force you to move outside of your comfort zones. The onus is then on the individual and their ability to push through these obstacles and meet their personal goals.
ACU provides many opportunities for students to meet new people through the different social activities that the university offers, such as sport, music, clubs, balls and parties. Your university experience is what you make of it.
For my pro bono legal experience I have been working at Eastern Community Legal Centre in Box Hill. From 2015-2016 my role was a Reception, Information and Referral Volunteer. This role included answering and making phone calls, booking appointments, meeting and greeting clients, assisting lawyers with casework, filling out advice sheets, and many other activities. Each shift there would be something different and for an afternoon each week I would help out clients and staff where I could. A lot of my day shift work involved family violence matters within the local community and more often than not it would be women of low income who were in desperate need of legal assistance.
In 2017, my role changed. I am currently a Paralegal for the night-service team. This is a more relaxed role as the matters involved are generally not as serious as matters during the day. On Thursday nights I act as an assistant to the lawyers by filling out advice sheets, sit in on matters and prepare any documents the lawyers need. While these clients are also generally of low-income their matters are more related to minor criminal offences, wills, estates, motor vehicle accidents and others.
Although I’m in fourth year I really haven’t decided on a set career path and at this stage I don’t think I ever will. I’m happy to take my career as it comes and make the most of my opportunities when I’m given the chance. Studying both law and commerce has given me two different career paths and hopefully I can put both of these degrees to good use in whatever career I pursue.
Page last updated: 2017-06-28
Short url: http://www.acu.edu.au/1256960