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Student spotlight: Making the switch to Sydney Law School

5 October 2022
The process of transferring to law at Sydney
Alison Hwang talks about why she chose to study at Sydney Law School, the process of transferring from a different degree and the different career options available to law school graduates.
Alison Hwang

Why did you decide to study at the University of Sydney?

Having grown up in Sydney, I visited the University of Sydney on numerous occasions for high school excursions, as well as for Open Day.

Every time I visited I loved how beautiful the campus was and I found all the people here, particularly the staff and students, to be friendly and welcoming. The University of Sydney was the first to come to my mind when it came to choosing my university.

What was your initial degree?

My initial degree was Bachelor of Arts / Advanced Studies, majoring in Psychology and Socio-Legal Studies.

When did you decide to transfer to the Bachelor of Laws? Why did you decide to transfer?

Transferring to the Bachelor of Laws was always in my mind from the moment I entered the university in 2020.

I really enjoyed Legal Studies in high school, so Law was the course that I wanted to study most in university. Unfortunately, my ATAR was not quite high enough to get immediate entry into Sydney Law School, so I chose to study my second preferences, Psychology and Socio-Legal Studies.

While I enjoyed studying these subjects, after finishing my first year I felt that I still wanted to have a go at studying Law. I knew that I would regret it later on if I didn’t try, so I decided to apply for a transfer.

Did you receive support when you started to consider this transfer?

I received great support from an academic advisor in the Law School, who offered tips on how the application process works and some valuable insight into Sydney Law School.

What has been the highlight of your studies in the Law School?

Personally, the highlight of my studies in the Law School has been the content that I have studied. Despite the sheer magnitude and difficulty of readings that often leaves me overwhelmed and exhausted, I cannot deny that law is an engaging and interesting subject to study.

Whether it’s torts, or contracts, or criminal law, I enjoy learning about different principles of law, analysing cases, and applying a legal perspective to my thinking.

What advice would you give to a current student thinking about transferring to Law?

My best advice would be to start planning early. I knew from the start of my initial degree that I would need to achieve strong marks in my first year to transfer to Law - so I strategically chose classes that could boost up my Weighted Average Mark (WAM).

I would also speak to as many people as you can - including academic advisors and law students around you - as well as doing your own research into the transfer process so you know where you’re going.

I also want to advise students to be open-minded. Don’t think that transferring into Law is the be-all-and-end-all, because you might actually end up enjoying the degree that was initially only your second preference (like I did!). Be open to other options and take your time to consider what’s really going to be best for you.

What do you hope to do once you have graduated?

I’m in the early stage of my degree, so I’m still just exploring different options on what I want to do after I graduate.

However, what I am currently interested in most is the intersection between my two majors, psychology and law - so I hope to be working in a field where I can connect those two disciplines together, like evidence law or forensic science.

Another area of law that I have always been intrigued by is family law - I enjoy helping people, and as a lawyer I would love to assist families to work through difficult situations in their life.

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