So, you know what to expect from studying a Bachelor of Laws at UQ, but you want to get a personal perspective on what it’s really like?
We’ve asked Ella, a fourth-year Bachelor of Laws (Honours) student at UQ, to share some more insights into the degree.
Let’s get started!
Why should you study a Law degree at UQ?
Studying Law gives you the skills you’ll need to work as a legal practitioner in Australia, as well as a broad understanding of how the law works.
Along with being able to work as a lawyer in Australia, you also develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and advocacy that can help you in whatever career you pursue.
Top 3 Pros of a Law degree
#1: Well-rounded degree
The majority of your degree will be spent studying core units from the different areas of law, meaning that you will gain a broad understanding of everything from contract and property law to constitutional and criminal law.
“It’s a well-rounded degree to have, therefore employment prospects are probably pretty good,” Ella says.
#2: Supportive and tight-knit cohort
“UQLS does a lot of events and things to participate in,” Ella says. “Uni life is good, essentially at UQ for Law students.”
UQLS (or the University of Queensland Law Society) offers networking nights, an annual revue and comedy sketch show, and educational support such as the Law Buddy program. As one of 220 different societies at UQ, UQLS helps students succeed in law and make the most out of university life.
#3: Transferable Skills
When it comes to the skills that you learn throughout your law degree, Ella says, “It’s rewarding in the sense that you’re learning a lot of material that is quite relevant to life in general and to various aspects of the professional industry.”
From learning how to read a contract to understanding the rights of employees in the workplace, studying law equips you with knowledge that you can use in your professional and personal life.
“You learn a lot of transferable skills — you learn a lot of foundations for other areas such as business, economics, that sort of thing,” Ella explains.
Top 3 Cons of a Law degree
#1: Time consuming
“I think probably the biggest one [is] it’s very time consuming,” Ella says.
On top of spending time in lectures and discussing concepts in seminars, studying law also requires you to read about and understand cases and concepts so that you can apply them to solve problems in assignments and exams, so it’s important to make time for everything!
#2: It’s a hard degree
Law is a difficult degree and requires you to learn legal jargon, read dense case law, and break down complex concepts.
“It’s quite difficult,” Ella says. “Academically, it’s challenging.”
#3: Stress can get to you
The time commitment and difficulty of the degree means that studying law can be pretty stressful. Feeling pressured to understand everything right away and do well in assessments can make you feel even more stressed out.
If you’re worried about falling behind or juggling university and the rest of your commitments, taking advantage of UQ’s educational support and wellbeing services can help ease some of the stress.
“Honestly, no, I don’t,” Ella says. “I’ve always wanted to do law. And I really do enjoy it minus the stress and sleepless nights. Yes, it’s challenging, but it’s very rewarding at the same time.”
So while law is a challenging degree to earn, if it’s something your passionate about, it’ll be worth all your efforts!
What do you wish you had known before starting UQ Law?
#1: Don’t expect to understand everything right away
Law is a very difficult degree, so if you don’t understand concepts right away, don’t stress!
Forming study groups with your peers, reaching out to your lecturers for help, and taking advantage of the educational support offered by the University of Queensland Law Society can help you develop your understanding of the coursework and get a grip on difficult readings that you might be struggling with.
#2: Have a life outside of uni
While it can be tempting to focus all of your energy on studying and getting good marks coming out of high school, ensuring that you balance study with your social life and other commitments is just as important.
“You will be sitting at a desk the whole day, you’ll be reading,” Ella says. “So make sure you have a life, a social life especially, and make sure that you’re healthy and you’re not making law your entire world.”
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
The small cohort and focus on core units helps UQ stand out from the crowd.
“There’s a focus on smaller cohorts and being able to really engage with students,” Ella says.
Although you can study the core subjects at any university that offers Law, UQ splits most of these subjects into two parts. This means that you’ll spend more time studying and gaining an in-depth knowledge of the different areas of law.
What inspired you to choose UQ Law?
For Ella, studying law was something that she’s always wanted to do.
She says, “I did debating, I loved it. I loved learning about global issues and how they affect humans. I also really appreciate the fact that me as an educated student, I have the ability to help others that aren’t so fortunate. I guess I find the fact that I can help people really appealing as well.”
As for choosing UQ, convenience was a major factor! UQ’s main St Lucia campus is just seven kilometres (or 20 minute drive) away from the centre of Brisbane City, making it easy to get to and from campus.
What are the possible career paths?
While some might assume that being a lawyer is the only career path that you can pursue, having a law degree can open doors in a whole range of industries and career areas.
Some of these career paths include:
- Judge’s associate
- Legal officer
- NGO adviser
- Social and government researcher
- Legal writer
- Community laws officer
- Compliance manager
- Company secretary
Rachel Fieldhouse is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and has just completed a double degree in Science and Arts at The University of Sydney, majoring in Chemistry, English, and Linguistics. Rachel’s writing has been published in Concrete Playground, Inside Enterprise, Planting Seeds, and SURG FM, and she currently writes blog posts for Remi AI, a Sydney-based Artificial Intelligence firm. When she’s not writing, you can find Rachel playing her saxophone or flute, or relaxing with some sudoku.