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An aspiring legal eagle is reassuring Lithgow HSC students that there is more than one way to secure a place at university as she commences a law degree without an ATAR.
Higgins Lawyers employee Sophie Quince has forged a pathway to pursuing her dream of studying law by completing a Certificate IV in Legal Services online with TAFE NSW and working full-time at the local firm after leaving high school in year 10.
Ms Quince said, “I have always had the desire to work in the legal industry to become a solicitor or barrister knowing there are good career prospects in the field.
“Enrolling in a vocational qualification is one of the best decisions I’ve made because it has equipped me with practical skills and hands-on experience and has prepared me to think critically, solve problems, conduct research and gain an excellent understanding of the legal framework – all prerequisites to studying law at university.”
According to Job Outlook, the number of people working as solicitors grew very strongly over the last five years, from 65,100 in 2014 to 79,300 in 2019. This strong growth trajectory will continue its upward curve, with 92,800 roles for qualified solicitors forecast by 2024, or 2,700 per annum.
Higgins Lawyers office manager Jennifer McGrath said, “Since undertaking her year 10 work experience placement with us in 2017, I have seen a new level of maturity and confidence in Sophie, and believe her personal and professional growth can be attributed to the knowledge and skills gained from her studies.
“She works closely with our conveyancers and senior solicitors, takes client enquiries, and quickly learnt to produce legal documents such as sales contracts.”
Ms Quince said that she enjoyed the flexibility TAFE Digital gave her to study online while working full-time to further her career, which meant she could work at her own pace and at a time and place that suited her.
Ms Quince was quickly able to put theory learnt and practical work skills into practice at work with clients, colleagues, court administrators, and barristers, to efficiently process legal documents including producing and filing affidavits, contracts, and legal correspondence.
Her foresight, preparation, and hard work have certainly paid dividends, and she is now looking forward to practising law in the not too distant future.
According to The Law Society of New South Wales, 74 per cent of Australian law school graduates obtain full-time employment within four months of graduation. This is higher than the national average for graduate employment, which is 69 per cent.
Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media and Communications Business Partner.
Mobile: 0417 134 048