I have a photo of myself taken on the day I found out I was really doing it; I was going to law school. My skin is clear, my face is beaming, my hair is shiny and there is a distinct glimmer of hope and pride in my twinkling eyes.
I remember the day vividly. I received an early offer and in a state of shock and utter confusion, printed it and asked my boss to double-check what it what in fact telling me. With a grin, he walked around his desk, hugged me and said “Congratulations! You are going to be brilliant!” My mum took me out to a little Italian place down Little Lonsdale Street and we toasted my success and obvious brilliance. That summer, family BBQs were filled with, “well done counsellor”, “great work Your Honour”, and the occasional “how are you going to manage parenting a toddler, working and now law school?”
Rachel studied Arts/Law before completing a Master of Laws, specialising in international law. She is currently working in Berlin as the in-house counsel for a European agri-foods company operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her varied role takes in corporate matters, M&A, employment and even property transactions in Africa. There’s travel, a great view over Berlin and there’s always something to keep her busy.
Before heading to Berlin, Rachel worked in Canberra for the federal government in Department of Agriculture, and most recently, the Australian Agency for International Development in legal and policy roles.
Not only are exam marks due out at any moment, but also the holiday season is now officially upon us! There’s the last-minute dash for presents, that niggling worry about how you went last semester, plus summer school classes or holiday work experience to fit in. At times like this, we all need a good lawyer joke!
Last semester, I embarked upon my return to university to complete my law degree. When I left, I was twenty-something, foot-loose and fancy-free, wearing crystals, feathers and with a mane of balayage. My motivations for studying law remain the same to this day as they always have been: to use my law degree to help vulnerable individuals in society.
However, now I am a 30 something year old, sans balayage, married and with a pint-size terrorist whom is more affectionately known as my 19 month-old daughter Gwendolyn.
Studying law with a toddler, or any child for that matter, can certainly be challenging, but there are also advantages to being both a law student and parent…
Midway through 2013, I was about to finish my undergraduate law degree. I was starting my Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and I was bored, bored, bored. On a whim one morning, I was browsing through some travel websites, procrastinating, and later that afternoon I had booked a trip to Africa.
After graduating that December and partway through the graduate diploma, it occurred to me that I would never be as unattached and carefree as I would be the day I graduated from that course. I would have all my legal qualifications, a couple of degrees, and over a year’s worth of unpaid work experience under my belt, but nothing to step into immediately after graduation.