It's not what you start with: Mark's journey to studying law
If you'd met Mark in high school, you'd never guess where his future might take him. He dropped out in year 10 and didn't think university was an option. Today, he's a highly successful law student, an NT Young Achiever of the Year and involved in more legal and community initiatives than we can count. And it all began because he finally took the plunge, overcame his fears and decided to study law at CDU. Here's his story.
What motivated you to study law?
It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do before I started. I decided to study law at CDU, as I was passionate about social justice issues, particularly Indigenous issues, and I wanted to make a change.
As I got deeper into my studies, I realised there's more to law than just social justice and Indigenous issues. I looked at the other facets of law, such as environmental law, migration law, and international human rights. Studying law at CDU has really opened my eyes to the different opportunities. My goal is to seek admission and become a court advocate.
What do you like most about studying with CDU?
The flexibility and the relaxed way of learning and delivery. As I work full time, it's difficult to get to classes but I'm able to watch lectures later via recordings. I also love the support from the Office of Indigenous Student Support Services. They have been a big support during some of the tough times I've faced.
The law lecturers at CDU are supportive, influential and know their students personally. I'm not just a student ID number.
I also want to acknowledge the law lecturers at CDU. They're very supportive and influential, and know their students personally rather than just being known as a student ID number. Many are practicing barristers, which is great. I reflect on how far I have come... The experience and knowledge I have gained is invaluable.
What were your biggest challenges when deciding to study?
One of the biggest challenges that I had at first was the ‘fear of failure.’ Because I didn't finish high school and dropped out half-way through year 10, I didn't know how to write an essay or what was expected in exams, and that really put pressure on me. But, having a tutor to support me really helped in overcoming these challenges.
My advice to others would be to use the support services that our university has to offer and to make the most of your studies. And if you ever feel nervous or anxious about beginning study, I say just give it a go! That's what it took for me to get into it and maintain what I'm doing.
How do you plan to make a difference and contribute to a better future with your degree?
I hope use my skills and knowledge to give back to my community in whatever capacity I can. I hope to practice law and become a barrister, so that I can stand up for those who don't have a voice and get the best outcomes and justice for them. Another part of me hopes to further my studies with a postgraduate degree such as Masters or PhD in law and return to CDU as a law lecturer.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience studying with CDU?
I could not personally thank CDU enough for what the experience they have given me as a student. I reflect on how far I have come from that young man I was who dropped out of school, and never thought that I would go to university; to now where I am nearing the end of my degree. The experience and knowledge I have gained has been invaluable.
Study law at CDU to find your new world, your way. Explore law courses and if, like Mark, you didn't finish high school or haven't studied in a while, find out if an enabling course could be your pathway to university.