Aspiring lawyer? Budding barrister? Future Attorney General? If this sounds like you but you’re still a little hesitant to dive into a law degree, why not test the water with a university guest program? If you’re still in high school, speak to your careers counsellor about university subjects or courses you may be able to take while completing year 11 or 12.
As a high school student, stepping into university lectures and tutorials might be a daunting thing, but you won’t regret taking the opportunity, regardless of whether or not you decide to do law. You’ll probably also make some friends who’ll be able to assist you with your studies. Some courses may also offer subject credits, so when you start your degree, you could receive recognition for advanced standing.
Be aware that university subjects generally contain more content and less guidance than high school subjects, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re on the ball with your time management. Also, this means you’ll probably miss some of your regular school classes, so be prepared to increase your communication with your teachers and spend time catching up on missed work.
If you’re no longer at school but are interested in entering the law, find out about visitor programs or short courses offered at universities of your interest. Some law schools offer ‘law student for a day’ style experiences. Whilst these generally demonstrate the glitz and glamour of being a law student, like moots, negotiations and interviews, you also have to consider your commitment to readings, research and a reduced social life. But don’t worry, on the rare occasion that we law students get out of the library and get to “play” in the mock courtroom, we’re just as eager as the prospective law students...
Even if you've already got your heart set on becoming a law student, these experiences are a great way to trial potential universities and work out where you’d like to study. You’ll get a better feel for the faculty, and if you decide that the uni you visited is the one for you, you’ve already learnt your way around campus and made a few connections ready for when you become a full time student.
Do some research to find out which universities offer guest courses in law. University is all about being proactive, so take the first step and get a head start!
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