For many postgraduates, finding meaningful study while building a working career is priceless. You...
What led you to choose UTS:Law for your postgraduate studies? Having come from an accounting background into a role which required me to upskill I was keen to find a law qualification that was both practical, yet provided me with the depth of legal knowledge I required. I had recently completed a qualification at Chartered Secretaries Australia and was keen to further my studies. Without hesitation my lecturer there recommended me to UTS:Law, and I am grateful that they did.
What does your job involve? My job title is the Head of Audit Risk and Compliance for an industry superannuation fund, Club Plus Superannuation. It is a very hands on-role which varies from day to day. The legal skills I have learned (such as contractual negotiation) help me not only in the board room, but in dealing with material service providers; regulators and tribunals within superannuation; legal advisors and compliance professionals.
How have your studies at UTS contributed to your career? How have they informed the way you work? First and foremost, my studies have given me confidence in performing my role – not through legal knowledge, but through the development of legal research and analytical skills. The studies I have undertaken have been highly practical and relate well to situations I face. With legal studies, you develop an awareness of some of the pitfalls you may face and how to avoid them. Secondly, you develop an appreciation that while there are fundamental principles of law, there are also some not always straight-forward outcomes from the legal process.
What sets UTS graduates apart in your field? UTS graduates are practical thinkers. The application of law to a specific situation is an art, and the lecturers and tutors at UTS from whom I had the pleasure of learning exhibited the ability to do this. Employers do not want highly knowledgeable graduates who struggle to apply the law or do it in a way that is hard for them to interpret. I concur with the thought that a key sign of intelligence is the ability to take a complex problem and explain its answer in a profoundly simple way. UTS is outstanding at producing graduates of this ilk.
What was the most rewarding aspect of your degree? The ability to develop friendships with both students and lecturers. Developing a support network of people who were going through the same thing and those who appreciated what we were going through made the degree fulfilling. Maintaining the relationships post-graduation makes you realise that while you may be going through different things in your career, the support that comes from the network you develop means your degree had far more value than simply acquiring a piece of paper!
What is the most useful or important thing you learned from your studies at UTS? Appreciation (and respect) of other people's points of views. There are always two sides to an argument. Understanding both sides can really assist in not only defending or prosecuting an issue, but also in negotiating difficult and conflicting points of view.
Was there anyone in particular at the University who had a significant influence on your studies? At the time I commenced, Professor Michael Adams’ enthusiasm gave me belief that I was in the right place. However, subject after subject and lecturer after lecturer made me realise that there was a consistent passion in seeing students develop amongst the staff. When you realise that there is this level of support and motivation, it becomes far easier to delve through the large amount of reading and cases that legal studies demand.
What would your advice be for someone who is looking at studying Law at UTS? Stop pondering. The fact that you are considering a degree in law most likely means you are a likely candidate. If you have a young family, like I did at the time of study, you may find the Master in Legal Studies is a great alternative to a Juris Doctor. I would suggest that studying Law at UTS will be life changing and make you an asset to your current or prospective employer.
Do you intend to maintain a relationship with or continue your involvement with UTS after graduating? I have kept a relationship with some of the staff and students at UTS. I have also really enjoyed being a part of the UTS Alumni and attending seminars from time to time. There are also wonderful and meaningful causes like Anti-Slavery Australia that make me proud to have been part of UTS.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience at UTS:Law, or the University as a whole? For a person who works full time, UTS provides one of the most accessible law schools. For many postgraduates, the ability to find meaningful study while building a working career is priceless. With UTS:Law you need not look further.