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What Your Combined Degree Says About You

freshly graduated students throwing their hats in the air

Maybe you’ve heard that it doesn’t matter what a law degree is paired with: each combination has unique strengths and weaknesses and, as such, you should just pick whatever interests you. With the pessimism and judgmental tendencies of a jaded law student, I’ve distilled each combo into a stereotype. Like horoscopes, take them with a grain of salt. Perhaps one commonality we all share is the belief that a law degree makes us more employable in our other degree. But according to Malcolm Turnbull, you obviously shouldn’t be doing a law degree if you don’t plan on doing law, right?


“Hey, wanna go get drinks after class?”

“Nah sorry, got lab.”

“How about next week?”


Alright, we get it. In a world that fetishises “disruption” and “innovation”, you’re probably still more employable than the rest of us. Unlike everyone else who happily left Mathematics behind in high school, you rightly realised that scientific logic actually helps with legal reasoning. Your combo is desired far and wide, from policy and consulting, to the whole spectrum of careers open to science graduates. Just stop making the rest of us look bad. I’m sure most of you are down to earth... I’ve just never met any of you because you’ve got 25 contact hours a day.


“Have you read Kerouac? I major in transhumanist feminism. Btw you got a lighter on you? I know a guy hosting a leather warehouse party in Marrickville, wanna come with?”

I’m Arts/Law so let me speak from personal experience. I thought copious amounts of writing and research would supplement Law. Instead, I ended up submerged in even more arcane academic language, marked against two different standards: while flamboyance is rewarded in Arts, it’s punished in Law. Life as an Arts/Law student is pretty ad hoc. I can never resist the temptation to skim over readings 30 minutes before a tutorial and rely on talking out of my ass to get by. Maybe I was kind of so-so about Law but took it because, being the risk-averse person I am, I didn’t think Arts would be employable by itself. If nothing else, hopefully I can talk about Medieval Women in clerkship interviews.


If you call your social media presence a “brand”, your aesthetic carefully curated through Instagram stories meticulously filtered and captioned, you’re probably a media student. You’ll appreciate that privacy, intellectual property (sexy law!) and legal restrictions on media have made it one of the fastest-growing areas of legal regulation. So, you can practice without earning the ire of your LLB-less media friends were you to snag their media jobs with your flashy Law degree.


“Hi, how are y-”

“LinkedIn. Corporate cocktails. Networking. Should I pursue Law or Finance? Mergers & Acquisitions. Case comps. Valuations. 180 Degrees. LinkedIn. I have to change my cover photo in a fortnight. Group assignments. That corporate HUSTLE never ends. Hang on, let me Insta story my elevator ride up to the 20th floor so everyone knows I work in the CBD. Catch me in the office ‘til 2 am.”

Never stopping for a breath, Commerce/Law students are (or see themselves as) ruthless sharks that relish the smell and taste of human blood. The common quarter-life crisis is whether you aspire to six-figure salaries and inhumane working hours in business, or six-figure salaries and inhumane working hours in corporate law.


“My life is so hard.”

You have no easy subjects, apparently. At least most Arts students get the occasional WAM booster here and there. As a result, Eco/Law students tend to flock together in solidarity of having two soul-crushing degrees. Not only are you able to break into business, politics, policy and economics, you can also pique people’s interests by telling them you “model” and then see their expressions dim when you clarify that you mean the economic variety.


This is probably the most unsung degree pairing. While everyone bitches about how many pages they have to skim, an Architecture/Law student would offer to build them a bridge so they can get over it - with brilliant structural integrity to boot. You’re tasked with constructing models of Olympic pools, parks and recreational centres, and formulating architectural manifestos. In a degree that’s somehow even more wildly subjective than Law, being nitpicked on the dimensions and textures of your paper, and of course design, combining with Architecture tells me you’re a pretty resilient person.

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