Thinking like a lawyer
During five years of legal study in Australia, Anulika Ezembaukwu has changed her mind about what field she wants to practise in but her law studies at UTS have reinforced her drive to be a lawyer – even though it was a bit difficult at first:
I was scared that I wouldn’t survive, that the course would be too hard and I wouldn’t measure up – but I can do it and I can succeed and I am glad I came here.
Anulika is from the rural Nigerian area of Awka-Etiti but she grew up in the former capital Lagos which, she says, is not unlike Sydney in that many young people are drawn to live, study and work there.
It’s where she completed her Bachelor of Laws degree before coming to Sydney for her Masters and then the Juris Doctor in the Law Faculty at UTS.
Nigeria is a former British colony so shares similarities with Australia's legal system through English law but since independence in October 1960, common law has evolved and is specific to the country. There is also Islamic Law and Customary law.
This means there are some significant differences so, despite her academic qualifications, Anulika says it was a bit daunting when she first began studying at UTS:
Initially I just listened because I was a bit afraid of speaking up but the lecturers and other students were very encouraging and so, gradually I felt more free and confident to speak.
For Anulika, it’s the collaborative nature of the UTS degree that has really helped her as well as the support from the academic staff:
Lecturers take an interest in you, they are very accommodating and they respond to queries and requests which has really helped me to learn well.
During her time in Sydney, she has experienced some bouts of homesickness and she says the support and the services available at UTS have been excellent and helped her through any difficult periods.
Anulika will soon complete her Practical Legal Training through UTS and is already interning at a city law firm.
Initially she wanted to work in Criminal Law but more recently she has changed her mind and now hopes to work as a Corporate lawyer in Sydney once she is admitted.
Eventually she has plans to return to Nigeria to practise Corporate Law and also help teach other aspiring lawyers by working as an academic.
Whatever she chooses to do, Anulika says she will always be grateful for her UTS Law experience:
I can talk about the Law confidently now; I can understand the issues and I can solve problems – I have learnt to think like a lawyer and UTS has taught me all of this.