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The best of all worlds

Kim Koelmeyer’s combination of law, journalism, and global adventure fuels a vibrant study and career journey.

It was Kim Koelmeyer’s ‘love affair with words’ that first led her to a combined law/arts degree at Deakin.

An avid reader and writer who enjoys debating and public speaking, Kim saw the combination of law and journalism as the ideal way she could channel her interests into a meaningful career.

Now in the final year of her studies, Kim has not only successfully combined her interests, she’s also incorporated international and professional learning, and unique career opportunities.

Law Without Walls – a stand-out experience

Last year, Kim participated in the award-winning, global legal program Law Without Walls (LWOW) and says this has been the highlight of her Deakin studies.

‘I worked with some incredibly switched-on, proactive students and was joined by team leaders from across the globe whose expertise, guidance and support helped me push through every obstacle. I also learnt the logistics of global teaming and virtual working. Everything I learned – from ensuring the mic was on, to being on-task with action and agenda items – has made me a more conscientious, organised team member and worker,’ she says.

LWOW brings together international university teams that, over a four-month preparation period, create innovative solutions for real-world business, legal practice and social justice problems.

Kim was one of four DLS students participating in LWOW, and each student was placed in a team with three other law and business students from different international universities

She first travelled to IE University in Spain, before competing in the final event at the University of Miami where her team’s topic challenge went on to win LWOW’s “best branding” award.

Real-world skills

Along with her international learning (which includes a year abroad at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law), Kim has embedded solid, real-world skills into her studies.

This includes a trimester with the Deakin Family Law Clinic, a legal internship with the St Kilda Legal Service, and an internship with Deakin’s FreelancingHUB, where she led a team of multi-disciplinary students to complete a socio-economic impact research design for Lifesaving Victoria.

‘I believe incorporating practical experience into my degree has been instrumental to my development, which is why I’m glad I’ve dedicated 10% of my total course credits to internships and practical units,’ she explains.

To continue building on her professional skills, Kim is currently a volunteer with the Women’s Legal Service Victoria and also a Media & Marketing Officer with Anika Legal.

‘Anika Legal is a tech start-up which connects students who are seeking practical legal experience with clients facing barriers to justice,’ she says.

Kim complements her journalism studies with freelance writing (she’s been published across various media platforms) and also works as a mentor with Deakin’s Diversity and Inclusion department, and is an ambassador with DeakinTALENT.

Knowledge, confidence – and launching out

But it’s her participation in LWOW that she credits as a pivotal learning experience – and one that’s also launched her entrepreneurial skills.

‘The lessons and skills learned through LWOW gave me the confidence, awareness and ability to found a project of my own. I now run Law in Colour, an online space that interviews and profiles people of colour in the legal profession. It aims to increase representation and open up dialogue about cultural diversity in our legal community,’ she says.

‘Thanks to LWOW, I now have a global network of incredibly accomplished students, entrepreneurs and lawyers who I can draw from as I move to the end of my degree and into my career.’