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Joanna Gaze smilling
Joanna said that after attending Open Day in 2012, she fell in love with the ANU campus

I loved being able to research different areas of law and find unique connections between them

Why did you decided to study law?

I can’t pinpoint an exact reason, I’ve always been around lawyers and people involved in the legal profession so it was always there as a option. An Open Day at another university actually tipped the scales, showing me that an LLB is the new ‘generalist’ degree that could allow me to do so many things and help people in so many different ways. I chose ANU after coming up for the Open Day in 2012 and falling in love with the campus.

What was the best thing about your time at ANU College of Law?

I enjoyed research the most, I loved being able to research different areas of law and find unique connections between them. Writing research essays was a taste of what I imagine being an academic is like, researching something that interests you and sharing the perspective you’ve developed. 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about studying law?

Don’t come into it with a hard plan for your career or the area you want to specialise in. Lots of people focus on a law degree as an outcome, a step on a career path so much so that they don’t enjoy it. My key advice would be that studying at university should be, for the most part, enjoyable: I’ve met far too many law students who didn’t enjoy or care about what they were studying. Law school is only worthwhile if you’re in it for the right reasons.

How did winning a prize help you?

Winning a prize was an important affirmation that I was on the right track in my degree. I won a prize for a course that exemplified my core interest in law, in which I’d done work I was really proud of; even more that just the marks, winning that prize showed me that I could tell people I was specialising in this area of law and I do know what I’m talking about. The prize was exactly what my self-esteem needed at that point in my degree and my life.

What’s next?

Unlike many law students I don’t have a full-time job at a law firm or the public service lined up. I’m going straight into more studying, a Graduate Diploma in Economics, to start preparing my resume to apply for Masters overseas. At this point my long-term goal is to be an academic, eventually getting a PhD from a Group of Eight university and one day passing on things I loved at law school to a new generation.

Updated:  24 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team