For fourth year Commerce/Law student Alex Zoras, it was her interest in school debating that sparked her desire to study law.
“I particularly loved the challenge of formulating and presenting an argument under time pressure, and then qualifying it with fact,” she says.
Alex knew she wanted to work in an environment that challenged the status quo from a young age. She had a strong desire to be part of a profession that offers new challenges as well as the opportunity to solve problems.
“I was drawn in by how individuals interacting with the Law are constantly challenged to work in the ‘grey-zone’; there is no black and white, clear-cut answer to any problem, and that’s something I found, and continue to find, really exhilarating.”
Sitting UNSW’s Law Admission Test (LAT) was the next step to put her on the path to fulfil her passion and pursue her law degree.
UNSW was an easy decision Alex recalls. “Notwithstanding its placement as a leading Law School, I appreciate its holistic and practical approach to student learning.
“There is a focus on high-achievement in academics, but also an immersion in extra-curricular activities which allows students to develop [the] necessary skills to succeed. Beyond this career-savvy approach, I was impressed by the global opportunities UNSW Law has to offer.”
UNSW Law’s LAT aims to evaluate each individual’s communication, critical thinking, problem-solving and time-management skills beyond their high school academic results. While it is a test you cannot prepare for in a traditional sense, Alex’s strategy however put her in the best possible position to succeed.
“I prepared for the LAT by having a good night's sleep prior to the test, and by completing the sample test UNSW Law provided on its website.”
Acknowledging that high school study can sometimes be intense and trigger high levels of anxiety, Alex says she found the LAT oddly calming. The questions were not overly or unnecessarily convoluted, but rather they asked exactly what they wanted in clear terms, she says.
“The content of each text, source and question was also interesting (and contentious, of course!), which made for an arguably enjoyable test,” she says.
Alex recognises that lawyers today are required to be well-rounded with strengths, skills and interests that pertain to more than just academic knowledge. The LAT is an initiative that reflects this.
“I believe the LAT is a great initiative to assist students who are very capable of studying a Law degree at UNSW, although may not have achieved the ATAR cut-off, to do so.”
In between her studies, Alex has further boosted her real-world skills by involving herself in student life and extra-curricular activities.
Her involvement in the student-run UNSW Law Society (LawSoc) keeps her busy, she’s been heavily involved in the Beginners’ Witness Examination Competition, competed internationally in Negotiations. She is also a LawPlus Mentor, a Camp Leader and regularly attends firm workshops run by the Private Law Careers Portfolio – just to name a few.
“I have learnt so much about myself in this time, and I’m proud of how the degree has shaped me as a person: my work ethic and my future,” she explains.
To continue building her professional and practical skills, Alex works as a paralegal in the Commercial Dispute and Litigation team at Bartier Perry Lawyers, where she has worked since November 2018.
So, what’s next for Alex? Not surprisingly, her career goals are firmly focused on the top.
“I would love to work for a major commercial firm, and even go on a secondment overseas. I love the thrill and demand of litigation, so that’s likely where I’ll stay during my legal career, although the concept of being an in-house lawyer has also always appealed to me; it would be great to become an expert in an industry unrelated to law.”
Alex is looking forward to exploring more opportunities with UNSW, even considering a Master of Laws, and working towards a career that enables her to problem solve under pressure.
“Ultimately I would love to be a CEO. I love leading, managing and working with people.”
5 tips for those planning on sitting the LAT
- It’s easier said than done, but don’t overthink the question, and don’t doubt your instincts.
- Be clear and be succinct. Your expression is everything.
- Examine a text or issue through multiple lenses. There is always more than one perspective which needs to be considered, and your arguments should canvass these.
- Formulate a thesis and run with it. It needs to be sustained throughout your response, and your points should build off each other.
- You have nothing to lose by sitting the LAT, and the paper is ironically enjoyable, so give it your best shot.
Registrations for the 2020 Law Admission Test (LAT) are now open and will close at 5:00pm AEST on Friday 14 August 2020. The 2020 LAT will be held on Tuesday 29 September 2020. Register here.