Why Study Law
Law remains one of the most popular university degrees and people study law for many different reasons.
One reason is its pedigree. Law is one of the original faculties in the world’s first universities, Legal scholars, judges, and lawyers have played leading roles in almost all walks of life—legal practice, business, government, social activism and more. President Obama and Prime Minister Turnbull as well as opposition leader, Bill Shorten, are all lawyers. Almost one third of all chief executive officers (CEO’s) have a law degree as one of their qualifications.
Law prepares one for success in almost all areas of life. This is demonstrated by the fact that over 50% of law students plan to use their degree in roles other than the traditional practice of law as a solicitor or barrister.
The skills gained in the study of law will equip you for a career in government, business, a range of organisational and professional fields, and very importantly for many jobs yet to be invented.
What is clear is that as society becomes increasingly inter-connected, the skills gained in a law degree, such as written communication, oral advocacy, negotiation and investigation, are more valuable than ever.
Indeed, the very future of our survival and success as a species is likely to depend on our ability to use law to resolve our differences, and to use for good purpose that which we have the intelligence to devise but not always the wisdom to control.
Finally, if you are like me at the same age, many of you might not know what to do. If this is the case, a sound strategy is to pick a degree that gives you great horizontal as well as vertical mobility. By vertical mobility I mean the ability to rise high in terms of prestige, salary, prominence, etc. By horizontal mobility, I mean a degree that opens the doors to many possibilities. In that regard a law degree is very much the ‘arts’ degree of the 21st Century. It provides you with a range of skills that will be useful to almost any other activity, profession or thing you would like to do with your life. A law degree provides you with many options so that you can be flexible and adaptive in what is a complex and rapidly changing work environment.
You can also check the video I made here: https://youtu.be/WaA4vnCEuI8
Dr Eugene Clark is Dean and Professor of Law, Sydney City School of Law: Eugene.Clark@top.edu.au
8th November 2016