Hey law kids! I have some fantastic news for you! There comes a time in your degree when you do actually get to choose some subjects! I know this might be shocking because most of your degree is in the hands of that Priestley fellow, whoever he is, but I promise that there is more to law than those 11 subjects that eat away at our brains for the first couple of years at law school.
When this momentous occasion comes around, and you’re staring at the choices, it is always tempting to choose the ones that don’t have exams, or if you are lucky enough to have the option, that aren’t even in the law faculty. I would, in many cases, highly recommend this approach. Why put yourself through the horror of 3 hour, open book exams if there is simply no need? Why confine yourself to the bounds of the moot court?
If you don’t want to be a lawyer, or law school is making you want to curl up in a ball and take up permanent residency under a doona, electives can be a great way to expand your horizons a little. Have a dabble in the arts faculty. Look at the things you enjoy, and see if there is an area of law that relates to it. For example, if you love your part time job in retail and you want to work in that area but don’t want to sell clothes for the rest of your life, check out consumer law. If you’re always planning your next camping trip or hike, environmental law might be a good option.
If you are unsure about which subjects to choose, that’s okay. Electives are an opportunity to explore things you might end up being interested in. A good way to go about choosing if you are not sure is to pick something that looks at least mildly interesting to you. Do you find crime a little bit interesting? Did you do okay in criminal law earlier in your degree? Choose an advanced criminal law subject. That elective might be the thing that rules something out as a career choice, or it might be the thing that sparks your passion!
If there is an area that you are particularly interested in but your law school doesn’t offer a subject in it, don’t panic. Most law faculties will let you take electives that involve doing a giant research assignment on the topic of your choosing. Talk to your faculty and see what the options are.
We law students don’t have the freedom that other degrees have in terms of choosing the subjects we want to do, so if there is something you want to do with your law degree, now is your chance!
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