Issue 8, Semester 1, 2019
Dear Melbourne Law School,
What the heck?
What’s with the botched class enrolment and elective process? You’re making studying law so much harder than it should be. Going into third year, I’ve heard more complaints from fellow students than I have in the last two years! This is a #rant, so gimme the mic coz I AM MAD.
I was always under the impression that graduating third years kind of had ‘special preference’, if you will, when choosing electives. I mean, that makes sense, right? Surely you want us to graduate in the designated time as much as we do? Even if this isn’t a thing, wouldn’t first in, first served (with spaces for exceptions) be better? Anyways, I have seven subjects to finish this year and am unable to do any in winter, so I was like “kk cool, I’ll do a summer sub, and three each semester” (not wanting to do up to four subjects in a semester because I also volunteer and work all year round). But no, I didn’t get into a single summer subject as I wasn’t pulled out of the random generator? What the heck? A friend of mine got into a summer class that I wanted and said that more than half the class were second years (which is okay, but it can mean that third years have completely missed out on doing it). This pushed me to now take four classes in a semester. Doable, I know, and maybe even expected, but I just went from being hella busy, to hella hella busy. Like what if I did those four subjects in second semester, and failed or didn’t do as well in one, because of simply having too much on? A genuine fear of mine! Maybe I can’t balance my life? MLS, you ain’t helping a sistah much here.
Many can relate to my situation, and to others it may seem like a genuine walk in the park compared to what they’re up against. Another student had nine subjects to do this year to graduate on time, but didn’t get into a summer subject. She’s taking four each semester, and an intensive in November, which means that she can still technically go into a graduate job—officially graduating later next year. But that’s extra admin, extra stress, and up to the discretion of the law firm. It’s something nobody should have to worry about.
The thing that’s absolutely infuriating me has to do with elective options, or as some may say, the lack thereof. Even where there is considered to be a wide variety, the ‘good ones’ fill up so quick you’re barely in with a chance. For various reasons, there is not an Indigenous Law-type elective subject this year (aside from the one research topic stream that’s only offered in semester one). ‘But that’s alright,’ according to MLS, ‘because there’s a Comparative Indigenous Law Masters subject you can do instead!’ (note: JD students can do one law Masters elective in the course of their study—which normally run for about a week). But the catch is, if you do this week-long Masters subject, you can’t get access to your normal class recordings for that week (which is still not a good enough reason for access lol, but not even going to engage with the lecture policy fight rn). This is systematically turning people away from exploring a topic surrounding law and Indigenous peoples. Tell me more about #reconciliation MLS.
And what’s with the legal research preference process—and when was someone going to let us know about this? I barely even knew what a stream was about before we were required to choose.
Something has happened in the last few months that has really turned MLS back to like, the late 1850s. Whhhhhhhy¿?¿
Angry Gal Kass.
Kassie is a Third Year JD Student.