Being one of the top law schools in the world involves more than having the greatest legal minds teaching our students. Our mission is to inspire legal minds and nurture an environment that allows our students to explore, expand and be challenged.
We provide the pathway for our students to discover what they are truly passionate about and help them to carve out their career path, build upon existing skills that will direct their future, and meet an incredible network that will hold lifelong value.
We spoke to three Bachelor of Laws students about their differing journeys through Law School and the opportunities they have seized to prepare them for their future careers.
All the teaching staff are passionate leaders within their respective fields and offer a wealth of professional insights. The quality of teaching is phenomenal and inspires students to exercise and develop their own independent thinking.
Natalie has relished in the opportunities available at Sydney Law School.
Natalie took part in the multi-disciplinary volunteer program, Not Guilty: Sydney Exoneration Project, which is a collaboration between the Law School and School of Psychology to investigate the possibility of wrongful convictions within real-life cases. The opportunity was an “immense privilege” where Natalie worked closely with leading barristers to research, review and analyse cases and “ultimately, seek justice for those in need.”
Natalie was drawn to offshore study so seized the opportunity to study abroad, enrolling in the offshore unit Philosophy of Law Winter School, in Berlin. The timing of COVID-19 meant that the unit was moved online, however she is looking to embark on a semester long exchange at the University of Copenhagen in 2022.
When asked about her perceptions of Sydney Law School before she arrived, and what the reality was, she said:
“I felt a lot of imposter syndrome and I was worried that I wouldn’t meet the demands of what I thought was a ‘combative’ environment. However, from the moment I stepped into Foundations of Law, it was clear that there was a strong interpersonal and human dimension at Sydney Law School. Individuality is treasured and I have met many different people from various walks of life with diverse thinking which have enriched both my personal life and my understanding of the world more broadly. Even more excitingly so, I’ve found that the paths students take upon graduation are no longer as black and white as they used to be. Each individual of Sydney Law School is irreplaceable and is what gives the school its distinguishable character.”
As you progress through your degree, you may feel like only a few well-trodden career pathways in law exist. Law is an incredibly diverse degree. Moreover, it equips you with astute critical thinking skills which are transferable to any industry. Focus on what you truly enjoy and are passionate about - opportunities to work in that space will naturally follow.
Wendy Hu is the current president of the Sydney University Law Society [SULS], “the largest and most active society at The University of Sydney.”
During her time in Law School she has built an incredible network of lifelong friends. However, before commencing her studies, her perception of the Law School “was largely shaped by its legacy for producing some of Australia’s brightest legal minds. This made starting at Sydney Law School incredibly daunting as I knew I would be surrounded by high-achieving peers.”
What she quickly realised was that “those feelings were shared by many and, really, being surrounded by such intelligent people is a privilege rather than a challenge.”
For Wendy, opportunity involved “anything competitions-related.” She got immediately involved in the First Year Moot and it was there that she was “introduced to the broader law school community. There’s no wittier and kinder group of people than in competitions.”
“The upside of doing a five-year long LLB degree is that you can try out a bunch of things. Cool opportunities I’ve had through my studies include interning at the U.S. House of Representatives, a short-term exchange at the London School of Economics and serving on the SULS Executive.”
Follow your passion.
For Bishoy, opportunity came in the way of the Law Reform Program directed by Professor Simon Rice. Bishoy was seeking study opportunities where he could get practical, hands on experience. Through the Law Reform Program, he had direct access to high calibre experts, and was able to work with community legal centres and other reform areas, turning his theory into practice.
This unique opportunity allowed him to explore how he could use his law degree beyond the usual commercial pathway. With career aspirations of lobbying governments and having a more direct impact on law reform, this program opened the doors to his possible future career path.
Bishoy was attracted to Sydney Law School for its reputation of offering the “best education” and its prestige. However, prior to commencing, Bishoy’s perceptions were that with prestige comes bright students who are also “condescending”. In reality, what Bishoy found were many “smart (i.e. hard working) students in once place”, each with the same feelings and insecurities he had.
With a focus on providing opportunity, our students leave with a prestigious degree from a top law school, and an enhanced, all-round experience that prepares them for their future careers.
Banner image: Natalie Gouda, Sydney Law School.