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Why law students will benefit from getting involved

Why law students will benefit from getting involved

Rolling up one’s sleeves as a student and doing advocacy work leads to a more holistic and well-rounded legal educational experience, argues the winner of the Women in Law Student of the Year Award.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Monash University law student Sophie Tversky, who is also the Victorian president of The Legal Forecast, said doing advocacy work while studying law helps connect one’s perspective with broader aspects of the legal profession.

“You can gain a richer understanding of your and the profession’s assumptions, questions, grey areas, transitions and possibilities. It enables you to meet mentors and communities that share visions that inspire you and connects theory to practice,” she explained.

“Every student, regardless of discipline, has a unique skillset based on their prior experiences and backgrounds. This diversity of thought can enrich the future of law, as well as providing a platform to learn from and collaborate with industry professionals.”

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It is also timely to be involved as such, she continued, as the legal profession is exploring new skills through the introduction of new roles and opportunities that shape client experience, internal processes and organisational strategy, she noted.

“This means that all life experiences, including exposure to different industries can be leveraged to inform the future of law. I think one of the major opportunities is for students to identify these connections and discover how they can contribute [to] the profession,” she said.

“There has never been a better time to find a volunteering or paid opportunity that aligns to your values, passions or areas you are curious about due to the range of initiatives available. However, if you can’t find such an opportunity – reach out to people, ask questions and create your own platform.”

Not only this, but students can provide “fresh eyes to look at issues, problems and identify opportunities”, she posited. However, this must be coupled with a willingness to listen and understand first, she noted.

“It is through inter-generational and interdisciplinary collaboration that real change can occur. Millennials and Gen Z are well-known for their desire to make an impact, which is incredibly powerful when correctly channelled and backed by the right resources and people,” she mused.

“As such, finding the right mentors, champions and people who are open to your questions is crucial. Many students are now completing a double degree and these different thinking paradigms can bring in new ideas and challenge (in a good way) our assumptions and frame of reference. Similarly, learning from students in other degrees or other industries enables us to see connections and find a common language when collaborating.”

There are of course challenges on the horizon for law students, Ms Tversky ceded, including navigating what one needs to know in light of unprecedented practical and professional change in law, the reframing of ‘alternative legal careers’ as legitimate pathways and appreciating how best to manage one’s health and wellbeing.

But, she espoused, there is wisdom to be gained from a phrase she learned when in year 12: “Throw your hat over the wall”.

“Be brave, be committed, invest in and learn from people, be a part of each other’s journeys. Once you throw your hat over the wall, you’ve set your goal to take the ‘leap’. This applies to a new initiative or program, creating a new habit or starting a new business,” she concluded.

To see the full list of winners from the recent Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards, click here

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