Updating Results

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

  • 34% international / 66% domestic

Regie Anne Gardoce

Something I had to tell myself constantly is that it’s okay to do things differently to how it’s always been done. It’s okay to choose a different path – as long as it’s what you want.

What did you study at undergraduate and postgraduate level and when did you graduate? 

I completed my undergraduate degree at UNSW Sydney and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Commerce. I was always impressed by the calibre of the education at UNSW and how much support is given to students, so I thought it was the right decision to continue my studies and complete my Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice with UNSW too. 

Yes, I am completing my PLT and also working full-time.

Please list the most important stages of your life. 

Since migrating to Australia as a young woman, the most important stages of my life have been receiving an education and being able to apply it in practice. Particularly, I have found it most fulfilling to use the skills I learnt to explore new areas of work for myself – gaining more skills, experience and exposure in every job I moved to.  

How did you get to your current job position and for how long have you occupied it?   

After working in a traditional family law firm, I decided to try something new and did an internship at a virtual-reality start-up. That’s where I first learnt about user experience (UX) design, copywriting, digital marketing, 3D modelling and business development. I fell deeper into the start-up space and started taking on more jobs in the ecosystem – helping start-up founders connect with potential investors and mentors. From there, I decided I still wanted to work in law – but I loved the start-up space too much. I was then referred to a legal technology start-up called Sprintlaw, where I was hired based on my dynamic background in start-ups and technology. I have been working at Sprintlaw for a year now – working in both the marketing and client’s team. In such a fast-paced start-up environment, I am now the Senior Legal Consultant managing and leading the client’s team. This year, I will be moving into the legal team as a graduate lawyer.  

I love that I am now working in the innovation space, right at the intersection between law, technology and innovation; and I never would have ended up here if I didn’t try new things, meet new people and push myself to go outside of my comfort zone.  

I think that's what UNSW has always instilled in its students, to keep looking ahead to see what we could do next. I’m really excited to work at the forefront of the legal industry, pave the way for future innovations.  

What made you decide to choose your course? 

Though most people went into conventional paths for this part of their career, I didn’t. Having completed my undergraduate studies at UNSW, I knew that I’d receive the same high level of support from the staff and the community at UNSW while completing my PLT and I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t want my PLT experience to be just a tick-a-box exercise, I wanted a course that would set me apart and surpass the standards required for entry-level lawyers. 

Having a PLT qualification from a top-ranking and reputable law school such as UNSW Law was also a major drawcard and I genuinely feel this will differentiate me from other candidates.   

What made you decide to progress with further study?

I have wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, I remember enjoying solving problems for others and seeing the appreciation in people's faces when they realise you can help them. It was important to me to do my PLT, be admitted as a practising lawyer and continue down this path of helping people. 

How did you choose your particular study course?

There were many factors I took into consideration when deciding where to complete my PLT. I really liked the fact that UNSW Law is one of the top-ranked law schools in the world and the course was developed in close consultation with subject matter experts in the legal profession. 

I was also after a course that fit around my work-life balance preferences - this course is predominately online which means it’s flexible and convenient, allowing me to still pursue other passions at the same time.  

What was the process to get accepted into your course? 

It was very simple, I just applied online. To be eligible for UNSW’s PLT you just require a completed accredited academic qualification – either a Bachelor of Laws degree, a Juris Doctor, or an equivalent qualification from an Australian tertiary institution.  

What does your study involve?  

As I currently work full-time, this means I do most of my online PLT work at night. This is generally only a few hours every night, but it differs according to each course within the PLT program. The course work is engaging and comes in the form of online modules that we complete, coupled with assessments to test our application of that knowledge.  

What characteristics or skills do you hope to gain by completing your course?  

UNSW’s PLT is all-encompassing, during both the coursework and workplace experience you gain such a dynamic set of soft skills that really equips you for the legal profession.  

From this course, I want to gain both a working understanding of the law in practice as well as the soft skills that would distinguish me from other entry-level graduates. UNSW places a big focus on having the right values going into the legal profession and this is the biggest takeaway I have from this program. 

Will this course be beneficial in your career?

Absolutely, completing this course allows me to become a practising lawyer with the practical and soft skills employers and customers look for in light of shifting expectations in the legal profession. Law school teaches you the theoretical knowledge you need to navigate the legal landscape, but this PLT program teaches you how to apply that in practice effectively, ethically and usefully. For example, while I would have had a very deep knowledge about property law and how mortgages work, the PLT program helped me understand exactly how to communicate that simply and effectively to a client. While it sounds simple, digesting so much legal information and turn it into a tool to help others can often be a challenge –and it is this indispensable skill that others like me will take away from this PLT program. 

What do you love the most about your course?  

I really enjoyed the 5-day onsite workshops and meeting so many different people from different backgrounds, collaborating in our teams, sharing our different skill sets to be able to solve real-world problems.  

We also got to hear from academics who are leaders in the legal profession, they shared their wealth of knowledge. I definitely felt like I was taken outside of the traditional classroom - it was very collaborative, and they taught us really practical skills that you need in the workplace. 

What are the limitations of your course? 

Jumping into a completely online environment after 5 days of onsite workshops was a little daunting at first, especially if you are used to learning face-to-face. I enjoyed the online interaction and collaborating with my peers but was relieved to discover that there was still a strong focus on hands-on experience when classes moved online. The online component complemented what we covered in the on-site workshops, and I was able to develop my independent learning skills.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student?  

There are a lot of things I wish I knew as an undergraduate preparing to go into adulthood and my professional career. To narrow it down to three, it’d be: 

  1. Do what you love. This isn’t just related to your jobs or studies, but also any hobbies or skills you’re passionate about. It’s really important to enjoy what you are doing every day, otherwise what you’re doing becomes really difficult. And, having a hobby that is different to what you do for a living is a great way to change things up. In terms of career, jobs and education, it’s important to do what you want and not base these decisions based on others’ expectations. Something I had to tell myself constantly is that it’s okay to do things differently to how it’s always been done. It’s okay to choose a different path – as long as it’s what you want.  
  2. Take care of yourself. This is something I struggled with significantly. You will get busy. But you need to remember to take breaks and look out for yourself too. Assessment marks and career goals can be important, but your mental and physical health should always come first.  
  3. The world is bigger than this. When I first started as an undergraduate, I was definitely sheltered and naïve. Remember to think outside the box – there are so many things you can do in life. Your world gets bigger every year with more experiences and more people that you meet. Don’t limit yourself in your career because you feel that there is a linear process you must follow. In terms of the values and mindset you bring into your professional life, I always reminded myself that I am one small part of a bigger world; and that thought always humbled me to contribute more.