For Gold Coast local Jordan Hansen, age 32 was the perfect time to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a lawyer.
Watching her father work as a solicitor inspired her from a young age. Yet when she finished high school, Jordan was unsure whether university was the right fit for her so she pursued a pathway of hairdressing, setting aside her legal aspirations.
Earlier this year, Jordan took the plunge and enrolled into the Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) at Southern Cross University, as a pathway degree into the Bachelor of Laws.
The University’s innovative ‘Southern Cross Model’ means Jordan studies a maximum of two subjects per term, spread across four to six terms a year.
“The reason why I've chosen Southern Cross is because there's such an amazing online structure for people who are working and want to study,” says Jordan, who has kept her hairdressing job on a part-time basis while studying full-time.
Now four subjects in, Jordan’s two-year Associate degree will be a fully-credited pathway into Southern Cross University’s three-year law degree.
“Being on campus is a place where I feel like I can talk and connect to a lot of people of all ages. There are plenty of other mature age students, and so it is nice to be around other people who are returning to study after a break,” she said.
My name's Jordan Hansen and I'm studying the associate law degree.
I've wanted to study law since I was about 18. When I left school though, I became a hairdresser. And now being a little bit older, I've decided that I want to make that change and focus on a career in law.
The reason why I've chosen Southern Cross University is because there's such an amazing online structure for people that are working full-time and want to study.
I love that I have the flexibility of studying online and I can come on campus. And there is a vast majority of students that are mature age, international, it just really appealed to me.
So the Southern Cross term structure at the moment, I do a six week term. So I do two classes a week and just having that online structure means that if something comes up, I have the accessibility to be able to do my classes still while working.
So I work three to four days a week, uh, while studying full-time.
Being that it's six weeks, it makes you really want to stay on top of it, stay focused, and you go really hard for six weeks and then you have a nice little break.
Southern Cross University has been really amazing. I love the law degree lecturers. They've been really welcoming and just giving that extra feedback when needed. And as a result of that, I feel like I've been excelling, so I'm very happy about that.
The associate law degree offers me a pathway to obtain my bachelor.
So by the time I've finished the two years full-time in the associate law degree, I do eight months on top of that with the bachelor classes. So that way I get credited, I can obtain my bachelor at the end.
My dad was a solicitor. I wanted to follow his footsteps and become a lawyer.
So just growing up and seeing how someone in my life has, um, had a successful career. The law is such a, um, huge thing in our society now, and having the ability to know your rights and, um, be able to protect yourself and the people around you, is such a good quality.
I'm really looking forward to seeing where this degree can take me. Even being 32 and being a little bit older, it's never too late to go a different pathway.
I would recommend the associate degree, especially to people that have been in the workforce for a long time. I haven't studied for 10-plus years, so coming into Southern Cross and knowing that there is that pathway that I can follow. Uh, and also too, being a university where, there are mature-aged students as well, it allows you to feel a little bit more comfortable coming back in. So I definitely recommend this degree.
“And having the online option means that if something comes up, I have the flexibility to access all the classes and content in my own time around my work schedule.
“The law degree lecturers have been really welcoming and really easy to talk to and it has made for a smooth transition from working to studying.
“I’d like to become a solicitor and I'm really looking forward to seeing where this degree can take me. The law is such a huge thing in our society now. Having the ability to know your rights and be able to protect yourself and the people around you are such valuable skills.
“I 100% recommend the Associate Degree in Law as a pathway to study law, no matter what age you are. Despite finally pursuing law at 32, it’s reassuring to know that I can get to where I want to be and obtain my Bachelor in the same amount of time. By the time I've finished the two years’ full-time in the associate law degree, I do eight months on top of that with the Bachelor classes. That way I can graduate with my Bachelor at the end.”