What is the Careers Portfolio?
Where do you want to go with your JD? International human rights law with the United Nations? Commercial Law in Collins Street? For the government in Canberra? Or maybe even practice as a barrister in chambers? Without getting ahead of ourselves, the fact is that the Juris Doctor opens so many doors in terms of your future career. So many doors, in fact, that it can be hard to know which you should open – or even how to open them.
That’s what the Careers Portfolio is here for. They are Linkedin Masters who work super hard to provide us introductions and insight into different legal pathways and professional networks. They do this by liaising with firms and other organisations which have a vested interest in capturing the attention of Melbourne’s best and brightest – yeah, that’s you reading this.
In practice, this will often see Careers hosting weekly seminars, corporate and government information sessions, expert panels, mock interviews, and publications. We seriously recommend you make the most of these to help get your foot in the door and build some experience.
Who are the Careers Directors?
We’re very lucky to have Riordan Davies (he/him) and Vivian Tan (she/her) as the Careers Directors this year. Vivian completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Western Australia. Riordan completed his Commerce degree at the University of Melbourne.
With neither of them having initially planned to study law, they bring a unique perspective in that they understand that the prospect of life as a legal professional can seem a little daunting from the outside. They will help to give this kind of unfamiliarity the boot by showcasing the wide variety of careers possible. In doing so, they aim to give all students in the JD the best chance to find a career which suits them – no matter your background.
What’s in store for 2023?
The careers portfolio has something in store for you, no matter how much – or how little – you know about your future career path. Highlights of the portfolio’s plans in the coming year are the Careers Panels, Clerkship Guide, and public interest law initiatives.
The Careers portfolio host regular careers panels where professionals, and recent JD alumni come and speak to the cohort about the work they do and how to get there! Government lawyers, competition and consumer lawyers, commercial litigation specialists, barristers and Legal Aid lawyers have all made appearances in the past. Keep an eye on the Careers 2023 Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss these panels as they are announced.
The Careers team also produce the yearly Clerkship Guide. The Guide provides detailed information and advice from a multitude of commercial law firms offering clerkships. It also includes vital information on life as a commercial lawyer, pertinent advice, and tips and tricks to put your best foot forward in both the application process, and as a commercial lawyer. The guide is generally published during the clerkship application period, so check back later in semester 1 to get your hands on this precious, precious book.
Of course, not everyone wants to be a commercial lawyer, and this is precisely why the Careers team has a dedicated group of Public Law Officers who aim to deliver a wide variety of non-commercial law events and opportunities to students. They run events showcasing the professional experiences of lawyers in criminal, family, community-based law, as well as academics and professionals working in human rights.
To get involved in the initiatives run by the Careers Portfolio, join the MULSS Careers Facebook page.