Written by Julia Day

When Sarah was on the way to her #UNELaw degree graduation last December, she was excited to be offered a job as a Contracts Officer at large electrical engineering firm- Ampcontrol Limited. Sarah notes ‘the skills I gained and the knowledge I obtained whilst studying law helped me to secure this challenging and diverse role. Not only do I review contracts, but I research legal topics such as the new modern slavery laws to determine what action the business needs to take to be compliant with the new legislation.’

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) requires companies with over AUD$100 million annual revenue to make a statement relating to what they are doing to avoid modern slavery risks. Sarah has been working on this statement on behalf of her employer Ampcontrol. She notes doing this task has helped her really understand the business!

Sarah enjoyed all the subjects she completed through UNE but the standouts for her were LAW336 (Local Government Law) and LAW480 (Advanced Research, Writing and Advocacy) with Paul Akon. She notes Paul ‘is an engaging lecturer, with a style that made the material relevant by incorporating topical items. I use the legal research skills I learnt in LAW480 every day!’

Before Sarah attended law school she completed a business degree and then worked in marketing for 15 years. When Sarah became pregnant with her now 7 year old daughter she decided she needed a change. She had always wanted to study law, so when her husband encouraged her to give it a go she thought why not? She decided to just do one subject and see how she went. She soon realised studying law was the best decision she has ever made and has never looked back!

She studied part time online so she could fulfil her family commitments. Sarah found many study buddies whilst she was studying. Fellow students such as Kym Wallace have now become lifelong friends. She found ‘studying online was not at all isolating and I did not miss anything by choosing this mode of study.’ Sarah noted as long as she ‘engaged with the subject, the learning was easy!’

One of the aspects I found most interesting about Sarah’s life is her fascination with Doctor Who. In fact, she runs a Doctor Who club in Newcastle which she describes as being a lot of fun. As part of this club she hosts a monthly meeting – at one of the recent meetings all attendees showed up dressed as the 13th Doctor!! For conventions or local events Sarah enjoys cosplaying as Missy – a female time lord and nemesis of the Doctor. Sadly, though Sarah’s little girl is not particularly interested in Doctor Who and her husband is a little bit miffed they have a Doctor Who themed lounge room!!

Sarah is about to start her Practical Legal Training (PLT) through the College of Law. She is so grateful to her employer Ampcontrol for supporting her with study leave and educational assistance so she can complete this aspect of her training.

Good luck Sarah from everyone at the UNE Law School!