For Kylie Shedden, studying law meant attending lectures by day before hitting the streets at night for her shift as a police officer.
Now, having hung up her police uniform, Shedden is a third-year lawyer with Maddocks in the prosecutions and enforcement team (within the planning & environment group) where she undertakes proceedings on behalf of government and statutory bodies.
Shedden was a police officer for a number of years before she commenced her law studies. Having also acted as a police prosecutor, which involves a two-month intensive police prosecutions course, she says she decided to take her passion for the law one step further. Victoria Police gave their support, and Shedden completed her law degree in four and a half years by studying from nine to 12 in the morning and undertaking her police duties from three to 11 at night.
"At the time, I really just wanted my qualification," she says of combing fulltime work with study. "And at the time I did think I'd combine it with the police force but I thought I'd have a go at getting articles and I applied like everyone does and I managed to get articles at Clayton Utz."
Still, law enforcing certainly taught Shedden plenty of skills that could be applied to private practice. In her role at Maddocks, both her prosecuting and policing experience have given her a niche set of expertise.
"I was able to come to Maddocks and head straight down to the Magistrate's Court because I was familiar with the court process and appearing at the Magistrate's Court," she says. "Also, my previous career helped me to educate clients on things like interviewing techniques, and gathering evidence and all the things that are relevant to investigating."
And entering the police force at the tender age of just 20 has also given Shedden a rounded view of the world.
"I think the life skills and experience from being a police officer, especially from the age of 20, has given me a realistic view of life," she says.
"It's something I would never change. It also gave me a level of maturity at an earlier age."
Still, there are some things she misses about the police beat. "I don't get as much leave," she says, "and I do miss the outdoors".
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