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Returning to law after 2 and half year hiatus

Woman touching her head temples

I’m back.

After a two and a half years, I’m calling myself a Law Student once more.

I’ve returned to the land of ‘but fors’ and double negatives; exceptions within exceptions and the excessive use of convoluted language and compound words such as ‘notwithstanding’, ‘indefeasibility’ and ‘involuntariness’.

Before I returned, I disclosed my returning semester’s subject list to a practicing commercial lawyer, who sighed, and wished me luck, advising that “Constitutional law was baptism with fire”. Let’s just say I jumped straight back into the deep end.

I deferred from my legal studies in August of 2013, due to rapidly waning motivation, depression and “no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life”. In my two and a half year hiatus, I developed a greater self-awareness, tackled my mental health issues head-on and gained an understanding of the law in context. I learned how to put things in perspective, and realised that the end of my degree was within reach. For the first time in a while, I saw that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Upon my return, I quickly learned that my previous approach of streaming 8 weeks of lectures in one night and bluffing my way through tutorials was not going to cut it this time. I found myself more motivated than ever to finish the final year of my law degree, and I’m certainly putting in more uninterrupted hours. Treating my studies as a full-time job, rather than a place I just go to attend class and socialise has made a world of difference. This approach was the advice of a first semester lecturer, and I only wish I’d taken it sooner.

I’m not quite a model student though… Procrastination is inevitable, and I’ve rediscovered ‘Look Mum I’m a Lawyer’. The site hasn’t been updated since last November, but I have over two years of archives yet to peruse… I consider this fresh entertainment, even though my now-graduated law friends think I’m laughing at old jokes!

Although busy, being back is not as daunting as I envisaged. It’s nerdy to admit, but there is a comforting familiarity to reading the words “Kirby J dissenting”, even if this means digesting an additional 20 pages to understand his Honour’s differing (but nonetheless interesting) perspective.

With my completed law degree, I aspire to be as influential as Justice Kirby in my own way… No doubt that without my break, I would have been the law graduate who raced through her degree, neglecting to appreciate the bigger picture.

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