Before law school, Rebecca Halpin worked in the hectic world of sports publicity. Now she’s swapped talent management, music festivals, film premieres and schmoozing for a Juris Doctor at Monash University.
Rebecca chatted with Survive Law about life before law school and what inspired her to take the plunge…
Where did you work before law school, and what have been some of your career highlights?
I spent four years working in the crazy world of public relations. I started out in London working at a PR agency just off Oxford Street. It was ‘cool’ ahead of its time – there was an original Banksy in the foyer and a fully-stocked bar for ‘staff meetings’. I worked predominantly in sports publicity but assisted with other consumer accounts.
My job entailed anything from press junkets and games of soccer on the hallowed turf at Old Trafford (home of Manchester United), to media management of red carpet film premieres in Leicester Square and the BAFTA Awards. There were music festivals, photo shoots, launch events, publicity stunts and ‘talent management’. I’ve worked with plenty of C-list celebs in my time, but there was the odd A-Lister too. Elle Macpherson, LeBron James, Didier Drogba and Bono to name-drop a few. Picking highlights isn’t easy but I assure you it’s not as glamorous as it sounds! Lots of work behind the scenes (creative brainstorms, client briefings, press releases, media lists, schmoozing journos, evaluating media coverage reports, event logistics, etc etc etc = long hours).
Since returning home to Australia I have worked for Team Vodafone in the V8 Supercars and the Gold Coast Suns. Being a part of the team to launch a brand new club within the AFL was pretty special. When I started there was no stadium (just a huge patch of dirt) and virtually nobody on the Gold Coast knew who Gary Ablett was. The boys' first ever win and the night we launched the club's home stadium are a couple of nights I won't soon forget.
What attracted you to studying law, and what do you love most about being at law school?
I needed a challenge and didn’t feel like I was fulfilling my potential. The industry and role I was in was lots of fun, but I felt like I had quickly outgrown it. I have always had an innate sense of justice and a curiosity about the legal system. Taking the plunge and applying to study law took some encouragement from close family and friends. I’m grateful for their support because it has been a surprisingly natural transition for me and I’m loving every minute of it.
What has been your most memorable law school moment to date?
Realising very quickly that I’m not the only nerd who is obsessed with stationery. Highlighters are worth their weight in gold.
What has been your most challenging law school experience so far?
The most challenging thing so far has been completely ‘re-learning’ how I learn… You have to adapt to a new way of thinking, conceptualising complex ideas and being able to apply them correctly to different situations.
Also, I don’t want to give away my age but at uni the first time around, hardly anyone used a laptop. So things have changed slightly in that department, which is great. Everything is so convenient now!
When you're taking a break from study and work, what do you do to relax?
I love getting out and about and soaking up the cafe culture. Melbourne has so much to offer. I also love to run the Tan. There's something about that track that puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face!
Where do you hope to work when you finish your degree?
I’m not entirely sure what direction I want to go in when I finish my degree but I am drawn to criminal law, particularly youth justice. I would love to go to the Bar eventually.
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