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Deakin law intensives: fast-track, immersive, global-focused

DLS student Lachlan Andrews has boosted his learning with law intensive and work-integrated-learning units.

A specialised five-day law intensive has provided Deakin Law School (DLS) student Lachlan Andrews with immersive legal learning while also fast-tracking credit towards his Bachelor of Laws degree.

Lachlan is studying a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws and recently undertook the Contemporary Legal Issues unit which ran over five days and was taught by visiting law academic Professor Maeve McDonagh. (See subject details below for T2 2019)

‘It was such an enjoyable subject as it combined theory and independent research excellently. We covered privacy law and cyber law within the European and Australian context,’ he says.

‘It was refreshing to examine the law through a theoretical lens to get an understanding on the “why” behind the law and how, as law students, we must take an interest in not only the application of the law, but also the creation of it.’

Bringing global expertise to the program, Prof. McDonagh provided accessible, thought-provoking learning and with a smaller class size, there was a greater level of student engagement says Lachlan.

‘One of the highlights was the great assessment structure. Before the unit started we had a short video due to get us involved in the content and proposal for our main assignment – a research paper – which was due by the end of the five days.’

Producing the research paper, he adds, was an excellent way to acquire ‘real depth with our chosen topic’ as it combined classroom learning with independent research which enabled students to formulate a strong thesis.

In Trimester 2 last year, Lachlan also participated in a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) unit which he says was a rewarding opportunity to gain hands-on, real-world legal experience.

‘Working in a community legal centre gave me a much better understanding of the kind of work that is undertaken by lawyers and the need for strong interpersonal skills when speaking with clients and dealing with their challenges.’

His work covered many of the daily legal administrative tasks and included assisting the centre’s lawyers with client communications and the preparation of applications.

‘The variety of work meant each day was interesting and it allowed me to learn much more about the importance of each piece of work that’s prepared for clients,’ he recalls.

As the recipient of a Deakin Rural Access scholarship, Lachlan says its provision has played a key role in his study success.

‘Firstly, it meant I was able to move out of home and purchase much-needed study materials. Living a long way from university can be one of the greatest difficulties students face as they are detached from the culture of the campus and opportunities to be involved due to travel obligations.’

The scholarship has allowed him to become involved with the Deakin community which he says is ‘so important’ to ensuring an enjoyable university experience.

‘I loved joining the Deakin Law Students’ Society and helping create initiatives to benefit the wider student body, it is one of the best ways to make the friends that you’ll be seeing each day you’re on campus,’ he says.

‘Learning how to manage and organise a 30+ strong committee is both challenging and satisfying as you ensure each event is better than the last. The teamwork involved is heart-warming as each member chips in to make sure everything runs smoothly.’

Now in the final year of his double-degree, Lachlan is planning on a teaching career that specialises in legal studies and humanities.

‘I really want to apply what I’ve learned in my law degree to a schooling context and teach students about the skills that are required to be a lawyer as I think they are so useful for general life,’ he says.

‘I’m looking forward to ensuring future students are fully equipped to enter university and the work-force, providing them with the confidence to excel.’

Upcoming intensives

In Trimester 2, the Contemporary Legal Issues intensive will be taught by Professor Felicity Gerry QC on the topic Modern Slavery: Corporate Responsibility, Organised Crime and Cyberlinkages.