Thinking about studying a Law at Monash but aren’t sure if you have enough information to know what it’s really like?
You can brush away those concerns as we’ve talked to Claire, a fifth year Bachelor of Laws (Honours) student, to find out all the positives and negatives of the degree.
Let’s dive in!
Why should you study a Law degree at Monash?
A Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at Monash is a highly respected degree that prepares students for the broader legal industry through theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The degree provides students with plenty of academic and professional opportunities to develop their legal finesse and put forward structured arguments.
Top 3 Pros of a Law degree
#1: Social life
“My society roles helped me to have connections with older students. When I was a first year and second year, I knew students who were in their fourth and fifth year and that was invaluable for my career development and just knowing how to navigate the legal system,” said Claire.
Monash boasts a bustling student life with plenty of academic and special interest societies available for students to meet new people. For any incoming Law student, getting involved in the Monash Law Students’ Society is a fantastic way to socialise with your peers, form new networks, find academic support and gain professional insight.
#2: Elective options
“I definitely enjoy being able to express myself through different electives, like gender in the law and international law, and learning about these really niche areas that I might not have an opportunity to explore in professional practice,” said Claire.
With 102 credit points reserved for electives, which goes toward thirteen to seventeen units, electives are a great way for students to express their interests and figure out what area of law they would like to specialise in.
#3: Exchange opportunities
“I was so fortunate to go overseas to study at the University of Leeds, and the Monash Abroad staff were exceptionally helpful with helping me plan my exchange and ensuring I got the relevant credit points for my Law subjects,” Claire shared.
Exchange opportunities for students studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at Monash are plentiful and provide students with the chance to discover a whole new worldview. Usually prioritised to older students who are further along in their degree, Law students have the opportunity to study elective subjects in the Monash Prato Centre in Italy or the Monash Malaysia campus in Kuala Lumpur, as well as a number of affiliated universities around the world.
Top 3 Cons of a Law degree
#1: Pressure to be a commercial student
“There are quite a lot of commercial opportunities at Monash, lots of Commercial Law electives and a lot of value placed on that. I think for a lot of students who don’t want to go and work for a big multinational corporation, or who aren’t commercially minded, there isn’t necessarily as much of an outlet for them to plan a career path,” said Claire.
Due to the large number of commercial opportunities available at Monash, there aren’t as many options as possible for students who aren’t interested in pursuing the corporate side of law. However, you’re still able to gain experience of non-corporate law pathways through placement electives like Professional Practice at a community legal centre, or Family Law Assistance Program: Professional Practice at a specialist family law program.
Additionally, alongside the LSS, Monash is working towards introducing more electives and initiatives that cater towards alternative forms of law.
#2: Vague about how core subjects interlink
“There is a subject called Equity, which we don’t do until the beginning of third year, and that’s after we’ve done a Property Law subject. In the Property Law subject, there is quite a heavy emphasis on Equity, but a lot of students don’t really know what it is because they haven’t done the subject yet,” Claire emphasised.
According to Claire, students aren’t offered much of an explanation as to how each subject links together and how you can build upon your study. As Law core units require prerequisites to study and need to follow the course outline, the ordering of subjects can be quite mismatched and cause some confusion in properly understanding the content.
#3: Not enough circulation about initiatives
“I think that not all students know what things are available to them, and so the promotional aspect probably isn’t as good as it could be,” said Claire.
Claire told us that there is some work to be done in ensuring that students are more informed about university initiatives and support programs, so they don’t miss out on some great opportunities.
For Claire, the answer to this question was pretty simple.
“Other than having an existential crisis everyday about my future, no. I think Monash has really prepared me, I’m in my 5th year now, and I have no regrets at all,” she shared.
What do you wish you had known before starting Monash Law?
“Law is somewhat pretentious in their pronunciation of words. The word clerkship is pronounced as clarkship, and I think that is a really good thing for people to know going into their Law degree.”
Claire also advises all incoming Monash students to become familiar with their authcate (the beginning of their student email), as it’s going to come in handy when you’re filling out your student forms!
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
“Having those opportunities to undertake clinical placement and professional practice and being able to take initiative and apply for those sorts of programs is something that is definitely unique to Monash,” said Claire.
If you’re considering studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at Monash, a noteworthy aspect that you can look forward to is the multitude of practical experience opportunities on offer.
Whether it be through legal placements, exchange opportunities or law competitions, students have the ability to immerse themselves in the legal profession prior to graduating and develop their career aspirations.
What inspired you to choose Monash Law?
“My passion was the Global Studies side, and when I was thinking of a degree that would best complement it. I thought Law would be a good one and my career advisors recommended it for me.
“I’ve grown to learn that studying Law will never ever disadvantage anybody, and it will only make you look like a more professional and hard-working candidate,” said Claire.
With 11 double degree options available to pair with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at Monash, there are a variety of different career avenues that are well-suited with Law. If you’re setting your sights high, studying Law at Monash is a great opportunity to enhance your resume skills and qualifications.
What are the possible career paths?
Setting you up to be more than just a lawyer, having a Law degree on your resume is guaranteed to enhance your employment opportunities and the choices are endless.
If you’re interested in climbing the corporate ladder, roles like a commercial advisor, contract administrator or in-house corporate counsel may be just what you’re looking for.
Alternatively, you could pursue a career as a human rights advocate and land roles in the UN, global governance, consultancy and policy making. A few of the many career areas that you can specialise in include:
- Criminal law
- Taxation law
- Immigration law
- Corporate law
- Family law
- Intellectual property law
Ashley Sullivan is a Content Writer for Art of Smart Education and is currently undertaking a double degree in Communications (Journalism) and a Bachelor of Laws at UTS. Ashley’s articles have been published in The Comma and Central News. She is a film, fashion and fiction enthusiast who enjoys learning about philosophy, psychology and unsolved mysteries in her spare time.