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The world wide law

Zach Moon is incorporating global, collaborative, and IT-innovation skills into his Deakin law degree.

Last year, law student Zach Moon participated in a first for Deakin Law School (DLS) when he joined the unique global legal education program Law Without Walls (LWOW).

Although Zach’s role in the four-person DLS team was a virtual one – from ‘home base’ in Australia – it’s just one of many global and industry experiences that he’s incorporated into his Bachelor of Laws studies at Deakin.

Before starting his law degree, Zach enjoyed a career as an IT developer and says he made the transition after observing the trend to utilise technological solutions in the legal industry.

‘I saw in this an opportunity to pursue a career in the law and still make use of my skills in innovative problem-solving via technology … I first transitioned to paralegal role with a boutique law firm and began studying law soon after.’

Organised by the University of Miami, LWOW is an award-winning program that brings together international teams of students (mentored by leading industry professionals) who create solutions for real-life legal problems.

Over four months, the DLS LWOW team, led by a diverse mentor group of law and business professionals, worked on a five-step program where they learned the process of bringing a great idea to market.

Two members of the team then travelled to IE University in Segovia (Spain) for the kick-off, before attending the final event at the University of Miami where each university team pitched their “Project of Worth”.

‘The program gave us a real taste of how legal professionals are expected to work in both collaboratively and globally. I also know the challenges [of participating remotely] have greatly improved my teamwork, communication, time management and organisation skills – all of which are highly valuable for my work as a legal professional,’ says Zach.

Added to his LWOW experience, Zach has participated in a short-term exchange program at Denmark’s Aarhus University (where he studied climate law), completed a Victoria Legal Aid internship as a court clerk, a clerkship with legal firm Hall and Wilcox , and taken out second place in the HEX Hacker Exchange Innovation Competition held in Singapore

He says DLS’s balance of theory and work-integrated learning units is perfect for his personal learning style.

‘I like learning by doing. Being able to learn the theory and also be supported by DLS to put these into practice – through participating in competitions like LWOW and working as a court clerk – has really helped me gain a more holistic understanding of the law and how it operates in real life.’

Now in the final year of his degree, Zach is working as a product design officer with Anika Legal and also mentoring the 2020 LWOW teams.

He says his DLS studies have delivered a more holistic understanding of why and how laws operate.

‘Law has such a diverse range of disciplines, and even just within the discipline of commercial law, there is a broad range of practise areas such as competitions, tax, mergers and acquisitions. I’m looking forward to experiencing the different practice areas and finding the right fit where I can use my legal, and IT and innovation skills.’