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Starting Law degree
Anyone else doing/ done law?


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#1 Super Turtle

Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:39 PM

I'm starting law mid year and I'm so excited.  I'm also feeling quite nervous about the workload (I am only doing part time but have other commitments as well).  I'll be studying by distance education.  



Is anyone else studying law or has done?  How do you find it?  Is it very tedious?  OR do you love it?  


It might seem a bit strange but I actually don't particularly want to be a lawyer, it's more an interest thing and one of my 'bucket list' to do things that I want to acheive in my life.  Does this seem silly?  

Would love to hear from anyone!  original.gif

#2 Guest_Spunkrat_*

Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:52 PM

..

Edited by Spunkrat, 01 September 2012 - 02:37 PM.


#3 Super Turtle

Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:00 PM

I'll be studying at university of New England.  It was between them and CDU for me.

Are you studying on or off campus and who through?  


I am prepared for a lot of reading, but are you saying it is more than the recommended 10 hours per subject each week?  I'm only starting off with one subject as although I only work part time I am pretty busy!

#4 YandiGirl

Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:08 PM

QUOTE (Spunkrat @ 02/05/2012, 07:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... Contract Law (ick). ...


Wash your mouth out. Contracts are awesome. biggrin.gif

It will feel really, really hard at first, but as you learn how to learn law, it will become easier. You will become a lot better at reading only what you need to read.

I loved it. I did practice as a lawyer but it wasn't for me. I now work in the construction industry (I've also done a masters in construction law) as a commercial manager and use my LLB every day, but don't have to fuss around with being a practicing lawyer.

#5 Super Turtle

Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:32 PM

That sounds great yandigirl; great that you can use the degree but don't necessarily have to practice as a lawyer.  

I actually think I'll enjoy contracts (I Hope anyway lol).  

Human rights law interests me.  

Has anyone had experience with law at UNE?

#6 Guest_Spunkrat_*

Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:50 PM

..

Edited by Spunkrat, 01 September 2012 - 02:36 PM.


#7 KristyMum-

Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:14 PM

Another one doing Law
somewhere between 3rd and 4th year part time.

QUOTE
I'll be studying by distance education.
interesting... I'll go check it out.

QUOTE
... Contract Law (ick). ...
oh I remember the days of Contract Law. lol I actually quite liked it and compared to some of the other units would much prefer to do that again!


#8 Sassy Dingo

Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:44 PM

I graduated from my degree a few years ago. I remember getting my reading list the first week and being horrified - mine was more than the 10 hours per subject per week and I was doing 5 subjects that semester. Can I just suggest, that for me at least, I treated a lot of the readings as optional. If we get an assignment topic I would go back and read the relevant readings, but I just did the course guide and read the text book. I managed to get by and am gainfully employed original.gif

#9 Super Turtle

Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:56 PM

I'm just doing an introductory law unit first!  I hope I like it I'm getting a bit nervous!

#10 Tenacious C

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:10 PM

As others have said there will be a lot of reading.

Am am currently practising as a lawyer, but there are many career options out there for someone with a law degree. Some of the occupations people I know with law degrees work in are public service(many!), regulation and compliance, legal publishing, legal recruitment company, project and contract management.

Or you could follow in Andrew O'Keefe's footsteps be a lawyer for a while then enter the world of tekevision  biggrin.gif

#11 mum2kichisao

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

I am doing my juris doctor (graduate law degree)
I am in between my 1st and 2nd year - have completed 5 subjects so far, doing 2 at the moment.
I started off externally at Edith Cowan University, but transferred at the start of the year to Murdoch. I am doing 2 units. I have 4 children and work part time.

Lots of hard work but I love it.

I also love contracts!

#12 2puzzled

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:36 PM

Amin my final semester at UNE as an external (started off as LPAB student and then switched to LLB at UNE). Am completing my Hons year concurrent with my final subject. I have been working full time and studying part time since 2005... so looking forward to the end. I took three semesters off during this period due to work commitments (1 semester off was for a holiday - yay!)

Contracts is foundational - gotta learn to love it! original.gif Contracts and property lay the framework for so many later subjects that you need to give them a good shot.

There is a LOT of reading in law. A LOT. Be selective in your non-core readings to make sure you're not wasting time. Also, make the use of casebooks where you can rather than reading the full text of your prescribed cases, unless your lecturer states you must read the full text of given cases. It can be too hard to see the forest for the trees otherwise!

All universities appear to be quite disorganised and UNE is no exception. The distance learning can exacerbate this so it can be frustrating as an external student.

Also, don't fall into the trap of getting behind in listening to your lectures and thinking you can catch up any time because you will find it impossible to catch up in any meaningful way. If you find the lectures helpful, try to make sure to listen to them the week they are released.

I am pretty disorganised and often fall behind and then cram like a lunatic. It works for me, marks-wise, but I do resent not being able to take the time to follow up on the areas of law I am particularly curious about, because I only have left enough time to get through the core reading.

Feel free to PM if you have any questions about the subjects, intensive schools etc etc. Enjoy this new journey - it can be quite a long one but it is rewarding and very useful, even if you don't want to head into practice.

cheers!

#13 jade06

Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

I'm in my last year of a law degree.

You have to be driven and motivated to even get through the first year - any time your committment seems to be wandering, you will be questioned 'how much do you want this degree', or 'do you really want to be a lawyer?'

You will develop a thick skin dealing with somewhat blunt law lecturers, and other law students willing to fight to the death for their grades. It can get a bit ruthless at times - after a while you will have no shame in treading on other's toes if it is the difference between them and you getting the grade. All good practice for graduation.

There's lots of group work involved, which will drive you crazy if you are studying externally.

Study your first year cases extensively, they will come back to bite you in the bum for the rest of your degree.

If you're hoping to make a career out of something law related, you might be best to do a double degree -  careers in law are really competitive and something I'm a little concerned about. I did a degree in Behavioural Science before this, and I wish I did it at the same time, as it would make the study less 'dry'.

However, if you are passionate, there is so much that you can do and learn. Personally, I love the area of international law as well as human rights, it just holds something special for me. I'm wanting to do a placement with Projects Abroad when I'm finished my degree. I recommend knowing what area you would like to use your degree in, and choosing electrives to follow..

I dont know one law student who spends the recommended 40 hours per week though... we do what we can. Its as much about learning 'how' to study, as 'what' you are studying.

Good luck!

#14 missus_b80

Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

I finished my law degree in 2008 and the others are right in advising you that it is a lot of reading. However, you quickly work out that not every single thing listed is 'essential' (even if it's listed as essential reading by the lecturers!).
Use the study guides and get friendly with some other students so you can share the load of making exam summaries.

Enjoy it and try not to get too tied up in the super competitive aspect of it. Remember that although law is a competitive profession, filled with ambitious achievers, it's best to not get known as the person who will 'tread on toes' to 'win at all costs'. Keep your eye on the prize of your degree.
And also remember that the legal profession is really quite small in Australia and word gets around. I'd rather be known as the person who shared my notes and was generally nice to be around than the hard-nosed b$#ch who trod on others to get where I wanted to be.

For the record, I've worked at top tier and mid tier since graduating and I don't think for a second that had I have been more ruthless in my pursuit of top grades that I would have had more success as a graduate.

Best of luck with your studies.

#15 Froger

Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE (jade06 @ 05/05/2012, 02:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm in my last year of a law degree.

You have to be driven and motivated to even get through the first year - any time your committment seems to be wandering, you will be questioned 'how much do you want this degree', or 'do you really want to be a lawyer?'

You will develop a thick skin dealing with somewhat blunt law lecturers, and other law students willing to fight to the death for their grades. It can get a bit ruthless at times - after a while you will have no shame in treading on other's toes if it is the difference between them and you getting the grade. All good practice for graduation.

There's lots of group work involved, which will drive you crazy if you are studying externally.

Study your first year cases extensively, they will come back to bite you in the bum for the rest of your degree.

If you're hoping to make a career out of something law related, you might be best to do a double degree -  careers in law are really competitive and something I'm a little concerned about. I did a degree in Behavioural Science before this, and I wish I did it at the same time, as it would make the study less 'dry'.

However, if you are passionate, there is so much that you can do and learn. Personally, I love the area of international law as well as human rights, it just holds something special for me. I'm wanting to do a placement with Projects Abroad when I'm finished my degree. I recommend knowing what area you would like to use your degree in, and choosing electrives to follow..

I dont know one law student who spends the recommended 40 hours per week though... we do what we can. Its as much about learning 'how' to study, as 'what' you are studying.

Good luck!



Oh wow Jade, that is certainly different to my experience with law lecturers. Most are very into social justice in my experience, and are extremely caring and willing to work with a student who is having problems.

The same with law students. Most seem to be passionately committed to many good causes, and especially the older students are very caring and sharing. The younger students may still be pretty competitive after recently completing high school, which I think encourages non-cooperation unfortunately. But the oldies are sort of over that competitive high-school behaviour.

Anyway OP, IMO a law degree these days is kind of like Arts used to be considered - a good general degree that can be used to take you a lot of places, not just in the law area. Additionally you can usually do a minor in something else (as you usually have quite a few free electives), like business, sociology, criminology, government etc.

Law itself is quite interesting anyway, especially when you have to study the history of the development of the common law. Some of the older cases are fascinating, and seeing the development of the common law is equally fascinating. If your uni is less into black letter law, and more into a critique of the law, you will probably find yourself studying more social justice issues than the law itself (which is also interesting and can be teamed well with more artys subjects if you want to do a minor or a double degree). Whereas if your uni concentrates on teaching black letter law, then business subjects and the like can team well with your degree, as it is likely to spark more of an interest in that direction for you.

But if you don't want to practice as a lawyer, it is an expensive degree to do, compared to say a degree in legal studies (which may get you into the same area of interest if you don't intend to practice).

Edited by SarahM72, 05 May 2012 - 03:07 PM.


#16 jade06

Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:16 PM

I must have had a vastly different experience to you guys...anyways, I'm glad you have found it a positive & rewarding experience with lecs & students alike.  

In the last three weeks I have had

There were 8 spots for assessment in a mini-moot. There was one extra student who wasn't enroled, and I was the 9th to volunteer for assessment. My lecturer encouraged me to figure out who the extra student was and to name and shame. Otherwise, there just might not be another assessment slot.

When I had a tutorial go until 11pm, and I mentioned it was really hard to retain information at that time of night, I was told 'how much do you want the degree', and basically to 'suck it up'.

I had cellulitis in my hand, and got an extension on an assignment of 12 hours.

I could go on lol... perhaps that is where I'm coming from. Perhaps I've just had a particularly bad run of lecturers? I do compare it to the care and understanding that was shown by my lecs when I did behavioural science though.

I have made some study-buddies who can be really helpful (one in particular has been a godsend), particularly if we have something in common. Most of the other students are like me - left school a long time ago, many are parents, working full time, or have other committments as well.

#17 rocketsurgeon

Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:10 PM

I'm going to go against the grain, and am hoping this won't be taken as misleading or bad advice, but I found a law degree considerably easier to do than a commerce degree. I did combined commerce/law straight out of high school and found the hours and input required for law much less than commerce (accounting and marketing majors).

Yes, there's a lot of reading but you'll learn what is essential reading and what isn't. This didn't kick in for me until third year though lol, which equated to second year of the law degree. Torts, contracts, criminal & property were all quite painful lol. By the final year you'll only be doing electives, enjoyable and easy mainly due to interest and passion.

I strongly disagree with treading on toes and being competitve. If you do choose to practice, your fellow students will be your colleagues one day. I found marketing competitive, law not at all.

I recently bumped into my first law lecturer the other day at a client function. He didn't remember my face, but he remembered my name. He remarked how another student of his became a colleague a few years after graduating. As with all professions, the circle is small.

Like anything, if you're genuinely interested, and it sounds like you are, you will be fine original.gif

#18 chat

Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:18 PM

Ohhh exciting, another law student :-)

I am 3rd year (face-to-face) and do two units at a time because I work full time.

There is a lot of reading but I have discovered some short cuts along the way tongue.gif   I love law.  I love applying tests from cases to facts and the joy of debating.  I went into it not knowing what I would do with it (more of a challenge) but I have discovered something I am very passionate about.

I did contract law earlier on in my degree so didn't enjoy it as much as I probably would now that I am more experienced.

QUOTE
Has anyone had experience with law at UNE?

I have a few friends who are doing law face-to-face wbut started through UNE.  It is hard very hard.  I actually tossed up the idea of going online at one point but they all talked me out of it.  But at the end of the day UNE has a good reputation.  I think doing this knd of degree online would be much harder than face-to-face.  I need my weekly tutorials to work it all out.

Edited by chat, 05 May 2012 - 07:23 PM.


#19 Super Turtle

Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:36 PM

Do you think it is a bit silly to study it if I don't want to be a lawyer?  

I am aware that it's very expensive and I'm worried I'll never get it paid off!

#20 chat

Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:45 PM

No, I don't think it is silly to study it if you don't intend to be a lawyer. You will find as you go through that the skills you pick up are useful in many fields of work. I would love to practice but am now quite well paid in the public service so won't be able to take the pay cut to start out again. I never went in it for the money. I have accepted that I will most likely be a government lawyer and wouldn't mind picking up a little bit of volunteer work at a community legal centre. I think that would be a good balance and would make me very happy.

#21 Jobrielle

Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:49 PM

I did my law degree through UNE, some face to face, and the last 4 units externally. Could not recommend them highly enough, and Armidale is a beautiful setting for res school! Law is a LOT of reading. But for me, I would describe it as easy yet time consuming. I can highly recommend medico legal law, very interesting unit!  And watch out for the jurisprudence lecturer, if he is still there. He is boring as batsh*t, seriously, I failed that unit three times because I could not bring myself to keep listening to him. That class used to have a very high fail rate.

#22 cln

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:43 PM

QUOTE (Chocolate icecream @ 03/05/2012, 01:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Has anyone had experience with law at UNE?


Hi OP, I am a year ahead of you - I started via UNE halfway through last year. Are you starting with LS100? That was my first unit, and I found it a good intro unit. I found there was quite bit of hand holding in this unit. For example, for the two assignments there were sample questions and answers provided, and the lecturer was pretty generous in providing feedback on questions related directly to the assignments, so I found the assignments fairly straightforward (I got strong Distinctions for both).

Personally, I am not loving distance education. I don't think it is for me, but at the moment it's my only option. I'm also finding it a bit hard to feel connected to UNE. This is my 3rd degree. I don't find I have a lot to do with UNE - I get more correspondence from my previous Uni as a grad than I do from UNE. I was intending to go to a residential this trimester to try and feel a bit more connected, but unfortunately had to cancel as I couldn't travel at that time.

If I can answer any other questions send me a PM original.gif

#23 YandiGirl

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:40 AM

For those who question the value of completing a law degree and not practicing......I am earning 5 times what I was earning in practice.

#24 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:16 AM

Another person just saying that the legal world is very small and you need to be careful because the person you cross now may have a parent who sits in on your job interview in a couple of years, or they end up working in the same firm as you, or on the same field at a different firm. In each place I've worked, my boss would come and see me about applicants who had attended my uni before they had an interview and do the same to the other lawyers if the applicant had been to their uni at roughly the same time.

The expression 'the toes you step on today may be attached to the a*se you have to kiss tomorrow' is very apt in law and you should consider it while you're an undergrad.

Likewise, one of my best friends from my res college is now a law lecturer at UNE and I can guarantee you that she would be less than thrilled to have a student trying to climb over others to get themselves a better grade.  

In terms of making it through, work out which kinds of subjects you're more likely to find interesting and mix them throughout the semesters where you have to do the really dry subjects. For example, I did contracts, property, constitutional law and criminal law at the same time. It means you can stay motivated more easily. You should probably sit down and map out the whole course at the beginning so you make sure you've covered all of the prerequisites in time to do the electives when you want to do them.

Some of the ones I found the most interesting were medico-legal issues, torts, criminal law, indigenous issues and moot. There were lots of others, but it was ages ago and I can't remember what they were.



#25 K-nut's Mummy

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

I've just enrolled in law and am really looking forward to it although I too am very apprehensive about the amount of work involved and how that's going to go with single parenting.




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