Former Victorian Attorney-General and Deputy Premier, RMIT Adjunct Professor Rob Hulls, reveals his top tips for making a career change to law.
Hulls is the inaugural director of the Centre for Innovative Justice, which runs a range of practical opportunities for RMIT's Juris Doctorstudents such as clinical legal practice with the Mental Health Legal Centre and shadowing judges, magistrates and lawyers in their daily work.
Here he shares his insights on what to consider when choosing to study a postgraduate law degree.
Changing careers can be daunting. What would you say to professionals considering returning to study law?
Coming to the law after undertaking another professional career can be a distinct advantage because modern, innovative lawyers and law firms understand that a multi-disciplinary approach is the best way to address people's problems. Having a previous career can help in this regard.
What types of roles exist for graduates with a Juris Doctor?
Careers in law can take many forms, from the straight practice of law to working with multi-disciplinary teams. The skills learnt in the Juris Doctor program can be a huge advantage in the job market even if graduates don't want to practice law.
What are the personal challenges you think people may face in a legal career?
One of the real challenges facing people in a legal career is the expectation that it is a certain path to wealth and riches. A legal career can bring a wealth of riches, but not necessarily in a monetary sense.
In your opinion, what is the best thing about working in the law?
The best thing about working in the law is that you can actually improve the lives of the disadvantaged, the dispossessed and the disenfranchised. I reckon that with the privilege of a legal qualification comes the responsibility to use that qualification for social good. The law can and should be used as a positive intervention in people's lives.
What advice would you give those considering a Juris Doctor?
Students often ask whether they are smart enough to pass their law course and my answer is simple; you don't have to be the brightest student to become a lawyer but you need to work hard, have passion and commitment. You'll pass - just look at me.
Success Begins Here: Study the Juris Doctor. Find out more.
Story: Grace Taylor