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Great Expectations – Dreams of a Law Student

By Adhina Jose



The alarm rings for the 4th time, and you are yet again late to that one dreaded class. You spent too much time caught up in your dreams that you slept through 4 alarms. The clock reads 8:57am, the snooze button really hates you. There were readings to be done, lectures to be watched, questions to be answered, but all remains undone. Ughhhhhh. To be fair, law school does that to people, and you were warned. How to cope?


With such great expectations, the dreams of a law student weigh us down heavily. What were those dreams growing up? Are they achievable or a foregone dream?


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Dream 1: International Human Rights Lawyer

What Model UN prepared us for. Working to protect the rights of the unprivileged and the vulnerable, speaking on an international forum, reinforcing state sovereignty. These dreams involve you being the voice for those without one. Having the job of informing and educating people of what goes on in every corner of the world; where people’s rights are always infringed on, where women are discriminated against, where the LGBTIQ+ community does not have an advocacy platform. Through your advocacy, you are able to help thousands of people all over the world to have a better life, but also put yourself out there. You get to meet fascinating people who are doing similar humanitarian work to you, and also get to tangibly assist in international protocols AND travel.


Dream 2: Corporate Lawyer

You’re living the dream you always wanted: working in one of the Big 4, representing their business clients and mastering the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The corporate lifestyle encapsulates numerous business meetings to offer legal advice regarding mergers and starting a company, drafting and negotiating agreements and confidential business documents, shareholders agreements, insolvency agreements, partnerships agreements, etc. It also involves that regular cappuccino with 2 equals in the morning from your favourite barista. Overseeing mergers and acquisitions and developing relationships with potential clients and shareholders to achieve what’s in their best interests is fundamental to your job. As a corporate lawyer you want to wake up and carpe diem, leaving everything on the table and to become an absolute boss at your job. This also includes inspiring the younger generation and mentoring junior lawyers to also achieve their dreams, like you once had.


Dream 3: Barrister

Prosecutors and applicants. Defendants and respondents. Judges. Waking up and fighting for people and for the restoration of justice. For you to fulfil your Legally Blonde fantasy, ‘like, it’s hard’ and wow everyone with your manipulation of the English language and understanding of social situations. Through being a barrister, you get the respect of everyone in society because you fight for what is right. Serious criminal or civil cases and your independent representation provides you with satisfaction, as you present your carefully constructed arguments in court and also prove what’s right. Further, through working with paralegals, solicitors, and clients, you collaboratively solve problems and contribute to a working society with clearly established rules. You worked hard to get here, and your clients and expertise are a product of developing your specialised skills. Although work gets hard, and the days get long, you are where you want to be.

Dream 4: International Diplomat

Working in different embassies around the world and representing your nation on a daily basis: you are a diplomat. The tasks that are assigned to you vary regularly and provide you with the spontaneity in your life that you crave. Diplomats are put in charge of drafting and editing written reports, providing liaisons with High Commissions and other embassies, and engaging in regular open-ended conversations with officials. As a diplomat, you are a chosen representative that handles departments and projects as well as their finances, and you respond to questions that arise from this public sphere. Most importantly, you communicate daily with people, experience different cultures through finding universal similarities with people, make many connections AND travel.


Dream 5: Prime Minister of Australia

Doing the primary job of this nation. Making Australia Great Again: managing the tension between big ideas to change the history of the nation, with downright populism without reason. Introducing new policies, speaking to leaders of other nations, and having insightful discussions and camaraderie with them. As Prime Minister, you envision becoming a strong, progressive leader who the people adore, and you continue to fight for their best interests and evolve with the changing values of this democratic nation. Meeting leaders from all around the world and sharing different approaches to leadership, your ascension to your position and legal background allow for greater connections. Further, through being a politician, your public speaking skills improve dramatically – you communicate with finesse. Although you face many challenges as a politician, you use this adrenaline-inducing energy and focus on your main goal: improving this nation for the better.


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The clock continues to tick, despite the alarms you set. Time doesn't stop and neither do your expectations beyond law school. No matter how hard it gets, how much you want to fall asleep and forget your existence, it never happens. Next time you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, which happens pretty regularly, don't forget what you dreamt of. So wake up, go out and make your dreams your reality, so you don’t keep fussing over the snooze button.

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