What did you study at undergraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now (if applicable)? Are you studying and working at the same time?
My name is Alice Kary and I am currently a full time student studying a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney. I graduated from a Bachelor of Arts (Socio-legal Studies and Sociology) in 2017 at the University of Sydney. I am working part time as an intern at a law firm at the same time.
Please list the most important stages of your life (school, education, experience abroad, jobs etc.)
The most important stage of my life is to make a decision on leaving my home country and studying abroad in Australia. It was challenging to determine what I would like to study and what job I would like to pursue as a career. I ultimately chose to study law in Australia because Australia is under the common law system like my home country.
About your course
How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and for how long have you occupied it (if applicable)?
I got to my current job position as part of the placement requirements of the course that I am undertaking. I have occupied this job for about 2 months.
What made you decide to progress with further study?
I decided to progress with further study because I would like to enrich my knowledge and I have always been interested in the law. I can see myself working as a lawyer and the research skills that I acquired from my previous degree comes in really handy for my current degree and future career as a lawyer.
Pros and cons
How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?
I chose to study Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney because this course was suggested to me by an education agent. Also, studying a law degree is a prerequisite of being a lawyer. I also considered the reputation and the location of the university before choosing this qualification.
What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?
I studied a foundation programme at Taylors College run by the University of Sydney before being accepted into my course. The prerequisites of being accepted into the course were that I had to achieve an average mark of 8 out of 10 in the foundation programme and obtain a B grade or above in English.
What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)
My study involves a lot of reading. Also, I have to do great amounts of research in order to complete my assignments. My typical day is to attend classes in university from 11am to 4pm (depending on the day of the week) and listen to lecture recordings if I missed out anything in class. I also do readings afterwards to prepare for the next class and conduct some research for assignments.
Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.
This course will be beneficial in my career because studying Bachelor of Laws is the prerequisite of being a lawyer. After studying the course, I have to study a practical legal training (PLT) course to get hands on experience in the legal industry. The PLT course is also a prerequisite of being admitted as a lawyer.
What do you love the most about your course?
The thing I love the most about my course is that there are a lot of events held by the Sydney University Law Society that give great insights about working in the legal industry. For example, there are events where representatives from different law firms are invited and they will share the work culture of the company and how I can successfully apply for a job in the company.
What are the limitations of your course?
There is a major limitation to my course. In order to enrol in my Bachelor of Laws, it is necessary to enrol for another undergraduate degree as a combined degree. This means the minimum length of time to complete the course is 5 years, which is a very long time and can be quite expensive.
A word to the wise…
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.
Join the peer-assisted group (PASS session) if you have time. It's a workshop that you can discuss the unit content and clear concepts with your classmates that is led by a senior law student who achieved strong academic results in that unit. It's a great opportunity to revise and enhance your knowledge of the unit. It's only available for a few units and spots do get filled in very quickly so you should register ASAP.
Also, join some events held by the uni clubs and societies that you are interested in, and meet like-minded people. You can make new friends and strike a balance between studies and social life. The Sydney University Law Society (SULS) is the one you should start with! You may also be interested in exploring the Chinese Law Student Society (CLSS). Explore the facilities and services on campus (e.g. SRC, Writing Hub...).
Knowing what supportive services are available can help you not only at the beginning of your uni life in USYD, but also throughout your whole degree.