Alumni

Alumni in profile

Image of Amanda Sommerville

Amanda Sommerville
Bachelor of Laws 2011

I chose Deakin because…
Of its great reputation for flexible learning and its support of off campus students. I was living in a remote fishing village in Western Australia with my husband when I started my degree, so I needed a university that would allow me to study wherever I was located. I was offered places at both Deakin and Macquarie universities, however I chose Deakin because of its great Library services and because it provides text books to off campus students at no cost. The lecturers at Deakin were also very supportive and encouraging.

After leaving uni…
I started working at Kroon Legal in Bunbury in Western Australia as an articled law clerk – once I’m finished this in twelve months I will then be admitted as a lawyer.

At uni I was inspired by…
My family. When things got difficult, my husband Troy was always there encouraging me. He has always known when to listen, when to offer me support and when to tell me to stop complaining and start studying. Troy often joked to me that either I would graduate with honours or I’d put him into a psychiatric institution with my studying dramas – whichever occurred first! My two children were also incredibly patient and supportive throughout the whole process.

The hardest thing about studying off-campus was…
The isolation factor. Although the flexibility and convenience of the law course at Deakin was vitally important, it was still a tough way to do a degree due to the isolation of where I was living and not having much face-to-face contact with other students or staff.

In my profession it is important…
To be trustworthy, reliable and diligent. It is very important to know the law, but the clients should never be forgotten as they are the ones going through the stressful experience after all. I think it is important to remember that lawyers are not only acting to achieve the best outcome possible for their clients, but they also need to smooth the way and make the process as stress free as is realistically possible for their clients.

Professionally my proudest achievement is…
Securing an articled clerkship in a friendly and professional firm that enables me to also be at home for my family.  After working for many years as a legal secretary, I am really proud of the fact that I was able to have the courage and confidence to work hard and become a lawyer.

Also winning Deakin’s Supreme Court Medal in 2011 for graduating top of my class was a highlight.

Success to me is…
Achieving goals and then working towards new ones. My aim was to eventually practice law but still be able to spend quality time with my family. Although positions with large and prestigious law firms were really attractive, I have chosen the better work/life balance available in a smaller firm and I feel lucky to have been able to achieve that.


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3rd June 2011