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Peppermint - Marcelo Cabezas

By Callum Florance

Peppermint is a Peppercorn series where we interview and learn more about ANU law students and beyond.

Photograph of Marcelo Cabezas (supplied)

A die-hard sports lover who is an Australian champion in canoeing, a racing car enthusiast, and even works in the corporate side of sport. Our interviewee gives some tips on how to properly engage with your ANU law degree.

For this edition of Peppermint, we interview ANU Juris Doctor student Marcelo Cabezas.

What degree are you enrolled in?

JD – Third Year

What was your background prior to enrolling at ANU?

Before starting at ANU, I graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelors Degree of Sport and Exercise Science/Sports Management. I have been working in the sporting sector across combat sports (judo and boxing) since 2019.

Why did you choose to study law at ANU?

ANU is ranked 18th in the world and 2nd in Australia for Law. As one of the best universities in the world to study at, I wanted to take that opportunity to further my education and challenge myself.

What have you enjoyed the most from your degree (e.g., culture, specific courses or lecturers, etc.)? Everyone at ANU is extremely friendly, from students to staff, and this has been a positive experience. A positive culture and engagement within the cohort is something that stands out across my studies. Whether in a tutorial or in a study session, everyone is willing to help each other and engage.

ANU’s Law Student Society (LSS) offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities focused on developing legal skills. Competing in negotiations competitions for 2 years was a fun and challenging experience. In an environment outside the classroom, you can learn new skills that have real world applicability. Engaging in ANU LSS activities are a great way to engage with your peers.

What do you do outside of your ANU law degree for work/hobbies/etc.?

I currently work as an Operations Coordinator for Boxing Australia. With a passion for sport, studying law still presents itself useful in engaging with stakeholders and within various aspects of my role.

Outside of work, I compete in canoe sprint, having won State and National titles in the past. I have also been a member of the ANU Formula Sport Team for the past 2 years as a way to learn from other students outside of law.

Between work, sport and studies, it’s a balancing act to stay on top of everything but its all possible.

What do you think the ANU College of Law could improve on based on your experiences?

The support services are there for everyone and I don’t think enough students use them. PALS is an underrated resource that really helps.

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to survive and thrive in ANU law?

To engage as much as possible at ANU. All academic resources are provided for you and engaging with that content is key. Outside of class, engage with the LSS, providing both extracurricular events to boost your legal skills or in the social events that it coordinates (pre/end sem drinks and the law ball). You will only get out as much as you put in to your time at ANU and it helps to make the most of it.

If you could go back in a time machine, what advice would you give yourself before starting law at ANU?

Don’t be intimidated to start. Everyone is new like you and they don’t know anything.

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