Hi, I’m Sam and I’m in my third and final year of the Juris Doctor (JD) at UWA.
I started my UWA adventure doing an undergraduate Arts degree, majoring in Law and Society, and Political Science and International Relations. I chose this course because I always had an interest in law and politics, and wanted a change from doing maths and sciences at high school.
During my Bachelor of Arts degree, I realised I wanted to continue on to do postgraduate study, and doing the JD became the frontrunning option. I ended up doing an honours year in Political Science and International Relations first, but in this time, I knew I wanted to go on to do the JD. And once I started, I never looked back.
In your first year, you definitely hit the ground running, doing eight core units across your first two semesters. But not to worry, this is definitely a good thing for a few reasons.
First, it solidified in my mind that I was studying the right course. The JD is structured in a way to get you familiar with the fast pace of the Law School without overwhelming you with content. It is also full of like-minded people, which made coming to uni every day a positive experience.
Second, because everyone is doing the same thing, there’s a real opportunity to meet new people and build a collegial cohort.
Third, it gives you exposure to a broad cross-section of the law. At UWA you are spoilt with incredible teaching staff who are leaders in their field, and their enthusiasm and passion for the law quickly inspires you.
After my first year (if not my first semester), I knew I was in the right place.
My typical day
One thing that has helped me stay on top of this degree is treating it like a full-time job. This gives you structure in your day and allows you to manage your time and other commitments effectively. This also means you’ll find me at uni most days, because I’m hopeless at working from home.
My day always starts with coffee (or coffees). You’ll religiously find me at the Quobba Gnarning café at Reid Library around 8am for my morning coffee (and sometimes a croissant) featuring a themed coffee mug.
I’ll then rush to the Law Library to try to get first dibs on the textbooks from the High Demand section. This is followed by offloading my things at my usual spot in the library (if you know me, you’ll know where).
In the pre-COVID era, I would usually have face-to-face lectures to attend, but this has been replaced with online lecture recordings to watch. In between lectures, there will (always) be readings to do to prepare for your weekly tutorials.
Also, there’s definitely enough time to sneak in a quick game (or three) of table tennis on the Blackstone table in the Law courtyard.
“Is it lunch time yet?” will usually hit your inbox anytime between 12 and 1pm (or 11am if anyone’s hangry). Lunch is a great time to catch up with friends and unwind for 45 minutes to an hour (or for a longer lunch at the Tav, depending on how busy you are or how late it is in the semester…)
Tutorials are often in the afternoon, so there tends to be a bit more traffic in the courtyard at this time. Afternoons also consist of working on assignments. There will be plenty of group discussion about it and arguments on who’s right or wrong about the assignment question.
Oh, and did I mention it’s probably coffee time again?
My evenings tend to be quite varied and are often filled with different extracurricular activities. However, during assignment and exam season, you’ll almost certainly find me tucked away in some corner of the library.
Blackstone competitions, such as mooting, usually happen in the evenings (I'm on the left in the photo). These are great fun and they teach you skills that’ll help you upon leaving uni.
Finding time for family and friends is really important to me, so there will be plenty of down time spent with them. I also play football for a club outside of uni, so I train a couple of nights a week. These activities allow you to keep a clear head.
Is it still light enough for another game of table tennis?
After after dark
The Blackstone Society has a whole heap of events that will fill your social calendar and let you unwind for a dance.
This includes Dinner Debate, Courtyard parties (yes, plural), and the much anticipated annual Law Ball.