Week 2, Semester 2
By Ian Khor
This article is a follow up on the one I penned a couple of months ago. In that article (which you should read by the way because it’s like the best thing on De Min), there was an encouragement for all those who failed a subject last year and are thinking twice about whether they should continue the Juris Doctor program, or even whether they could become a lawyer at all.
Here, I am going to point out that your Juris Doctor qualification will provide you with even more opportunities down the dusty, well-trodden ‘Lawyer’ path. Below are a few examples of Melbourne Law School alumni who did not go down the traditional career route but jumped down the rabbit hole with Alice instead.
At the end of his time with, he joined SEEK (you know, the one site where we all desperately apply for every job entitled ‘Paralegal Wanted’?) as their Head of Strategy. He oversaw the growth of the company into the largest job boards in Australia today. Currently, he is balancing his job at SEEK with his new start-up, Onploy, which is a marketplace that helps connect top companies with software engineering talent.
He has said on numerous occasions that his legal education jump-started his career in consulting, and enabled him to own a business .
During the start-up panel the law school hosted earlier last year, Grace repeatedly stressed the importance of her legal education, which helped open doors. She recounted a story about a restaurant owner, who was sceptical about Grace’s app and refused to jump on board. However, after learning that she had a legal background, she was surprised to find the restaurant owner doing a 360, welcoming her with open arms and swiftly agreeing to be a part of the platform.
Since launching, Settify has helped over 2000 clients settle their family law disputes.
Both believe that having a law degree does not necessarily require graduates to become lawyers. There are so many different ways to use a law degree in order to pursue your dreams, includings starting your own business. I hope that, by providing these examples, this would decrease the pressure and worry faced by second and third year law school students, for whom clerkships and competition for graduate positions are on the horizon. Having witnessed the success of these amazing people firsthand, I can honestly say that they do not regret going down the law path and, perhaps, are currently facing a reward through chasing their own dreams, instead of the dreams of others.
I encourage all of us to continue forward on this law journey, whether you’ve failed or not, with the realisation that, even if you don’t get to become a lawyer, at least you’ll get to become someone even better.