A day in the life of a Juris Doctor
Hi, I’m Lachlan and I’m a second-year Juris Doctor (JD) student in the Law School at UWA.
My journey towards choosing the JD was somewhat unexpected. I finished my undergraduate degree in Marketing and Communication and Media Studies and felt I wasn’t quite finished with studying. I was at a bit of a crossroads and found myself looking into studying law.
After deciding to pursue law, studying the JD at UWA seemed like a no-brainer. I felt the standard of expertise and experience brought by the Law School’s staff was unparalleled. Additionally, the highly focused, intensive degree structure, while challenging, is extremely rewarding.
I’ve found the JD has allowed me to strive for academic excellence and gain the skills and knowledge I need to (hopefully) succeed in my desired career path.
Without doubt, my favourite aspect of being a JD student is the friendships and bonds I have formed with my peers. I have met some of the most driven, inspiring people and I know I would not have made it this far in one piece without their constant support and hilarity. Not only is having a strong group of friends in the degree a vital form of stress release, it’s super handy to be able to support each other academically.
The degree’s first year is entirely comprised of core units, allowing you to really get to know everyone in the cohort, and all of whom understand the exact experience you are going through.
Additionally, the social aspect of the degree (fostered in large part by The Blackstone Society events) allows everyone to let down their hair and enjoy themselves away from the stress of Torts and Contract Law. You will definitely find me at every social event, probably talking the ear off of anyone and everyone.
My typical day
You’ll normally catch me outside Quobba Cafe craving my soy flat white at around 9am, before our morning lectures or library study sessions. Pre-COVID-19, you would likely find about a quarter of the cohort doing the exact same thing. During COVID-19, I tried to stick to this schedule as much as I could, substituting Quobba for my local cafe and my spontaneous cohort run-ins with group Zoom video chats.
I’m really not a morning person but during semester I try my best to stay on some kind of schedule and smash out as much work as possible before lunch.
Knowing I’ll achieve next to nothing at home, I usually come in to uni around four days a week to stay on top of the workload. This is by no means a requirement but seems to work for me.
At about 12.30pm, the mass of “lunch?” messages start to roll in. It often ends in a group of us congregating on Oak Lawn, strategically sitting away from the food-snatching kookaburras and trying to soak up as much sun as we can in 45 minutes.
The afternoon is normally filled with tutorials or finishing off coursework and assignments in the library. An afternoon is never complete without a trip to the UWA IGA Xpress for a cheeky Kit-Kat and likely the second coffee of the day.
This is also often the time when I will meet up with a few friends to go over lecture content or tutorial questions in a small study group. This works really well to make sure we’re all across the content (and is a great excuse to socialise).
This is completely dependent on what point of semester we are in. During exams and assignments, I will likely be in the library well passed dark with an ever-increasing UberEats bill.
But, earlier in the semester, you might find me running an advocacy competition for The Blackstone Society, as their Competitions Representative. These are a super fun way to develop advocacy skills and mingle with the industry professionals brought in to judge the competitions.
If I’m not running a competition, I’m probably at my work as a supervisor at a cinema, hopping between the box office and bar. I usually work there two nights a week which fits in well with my uni schedule.
I also play in a JD social netball team which has been a really great way to get to know more people in the cohort and stay (somewhat) fit at the same time.
I can assure you that nothing shows you the competitive nature of law students quite like division 4 social sport at 8pm on a Tuesday night.
Beyond any university-related commitments, I find it super important to maintain a social life outside the JD.
I love to spend my time (and money) on finding the best smashed avo in Perth, going to book club (an excuse to eat cheese and drink wine) and attend as many music festivals and concerts as my bank account will allow.
Story and photo from University of Western Australia
About the UWA Juris Doctor Program
Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Crawley Campus, Perth, Western Australia
Semester intakes: February
Duration: 3 years
Application deadline: You are encouraged to apply as early as possible