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My law degree was the foundation for my career

Student in white blouse at Gold Coast campus


2 June 2023

As an academic scholarship recipient at Southern Cross University and now working in a prestigious graduate program, all the evidence suggests Sarah will be a lawyer to be reckoned with.

In her first year out of university Sarah has secured a graduate lawyer position at Clayton Utz in Brisbane, learning from top lawyers in the field, attending court, researching and working on cases – all while being mentored. 

“When I decided to study law, it was because of the challenge, I wanted to push myself to see if I could do it,” she said. 

“I’m really interested in helping people and understanding the systems and structures of corporations. I’m working with people at the firm who are very successful and very generous in mentoring me and the other graduates in the program. 

“What I enjoy most about my job is that every day I’m learning, no day is the same, and there’s always a new challenge. The people I work with are lovely and really value my development.” 

Sarah currently works in the Environment and Sustainable Development team following her stint in Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety, where she is drafting advices, research and updates, conducting court administration and other legal tasks.

“Southern Cross provided a great foundation for my current workplace where I’m continuing to develop my professional and personal skills.”

During her studies at Southern Cross, Sarah performed a clerkship at the firm, as well as volunteering at a community legal centre on the Gold Coast alongside qualified lawyers. 

“Volunteering at the legal centre, and assisting people who otherwise don’t have access to paid legal services was an eye-opening experience. It was confronting and impactful. We would take file notes, and I picked up so much just by listening to the experienced lawyers who had volunteered their time to assist. It taught me a lot about empathy and the importance of understanding that people often just want you to listen.” 

It was this community spirit that saw Sarah receive the Twin Towns Community Service Award while in high school at St Andrews Lutheran College, and her academic prowess that landed her a place in the prestigious Southern Cross Scholars Program with an early offer into the Bachelor of Business and Laws. 

Sarah’s advice to students looking to study law at Southern Cross is to work hard and try to attain as much work experience as possible. 

“I chose Southern Cross because I wanted to attend a smaller university close to home and a university where I felt the lecturers really valued my learning and development as a student. The course was definitely challenging but I learned so much and the staff were always willing to help. 

“The selection process for the clerkship during my final year of study was extensive and involved numerous networking events and interviews for shortlisted candidates, however it provided me invaluable hands on experience. 

“Southern Cross provided a great foundation for my current workplace where I’m continuing to develop my professional and personal skills.”

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