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Ready for real-world law

"I love the challenge of law".

Practical, ‘job-ready’ abilities are some of the stand-out highlights that fourth-year law student Chris Grant says he’s gained during Deakin’s Bachelor of Laws program.

Now in the final year of his degree, Chris is looking forward to soon completing his degree and taking his skills into the legal profession.

He says one of the reasons he chose to study law at Deakin was the opportunity to showcase – and improve – his analytical and communication skills.

‘I love the challenge of law and have also always been good at debating so I thought a career in the law would be a good way to expand my future employment options.’

Since commencing the course, Chris has been determined to make his university experience a positive one.

‘I’ve really tried to get involved with the Deakin community and immerse myself in university life. I joined the Deakin Law School Students’ Society and have been there for the last three years which I’ve really enjoyed,’ he says.

He’s also made the most of Deakin’s “study abroad” opportunities by undertaking Chinese commercial law at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics during 2015 and international human rights law at the Aarhus University, Denmark during 2016.

‘In China I was able to visit an international law firm and also the country’s Supreme Court equivalent while in Denmark I completed a master’s subject (intensively) and I also had the opportunity to be taught by leading professionals in human rights law,’ he says.

Chris adds that as well as expanding his global experience and knowledge, the international study experiences have helped boost his employability.

‘These opportunities help demonstrate to potential employers that I can adapt to new environments, embrace new cultures and, most importantly for my field, understand how different laws operate internationally and how this can translate back to a national context,’ he explains.

As the Clayton Utz Client Interview winner for 2016 and a semi-finalist in the Herbert Smith Freehills Deals in 2017 (mock law competitions), Chris says that other highlights during his course have included the opportunity to organise and manage a host of law society social events and also participate in highly-practical law placements.

‘These have included legal internship at Yarra Trams (in their legal department) and partaking in the newly-formed Venture Law Clinic at Deakin Downtown in the heart of the Melbourne CBD.’

Chris says the opportunity to experience hands-on legal experience has made a huge difference to his understanding of the law profession.

‘These subjects have helped translate all the skills developed during my degree into a real-life professional setting, giving me valuable experience and an advantage over my peers in an extremely competitive job market.’

With his studies almost complete, Chris is looking forward to some international travel before moving into full-time legal work.

‘Hopefully I will be offered a graduate position at one of the top-tier commercial law firms I have clerked at during my final year of study. Employers are constantly saying how they are looking for graduates who are ‘well-rounded’ and have a global perspective. During my degree I believe I have gained a lot of first-hand, practical legal experience which has really equipped me to “job-ready”.’

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