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Years go by pretty quickly and before you know it you look back over a career that started in the early 80's, which probably matches the face you see in the mirror, and you wonder when did that happen?
In fact, I recently participated in a Moot Court at Deakin where my partners (who were fantastic) are the same age as my daughter. Funny though, the title of "mature age student" doesn't feel as though it applies to me!
In fact I don't even feel like a student, I feel like I'm pursuing a field I used to look upon from the outside and over time I noticed that whenever my work took me there, I relished it. I don't think you study law, rather law grabs you and doesn't let go.
Why Deakin? Reputations are things that can be difficult to make and most valuable when made for you. My professional field is in property development and finance, over the years various colleagues and friends over have studied at Deakin, and the reputation is high. Not only in quality of education but also in off-campus delivery.
I have a brother Tim (a successful Barrister in Melb) who undertook off-campus law studies at Deakin. His enthusiasm for Law and Deakin is infectious. On the other hand my father (Owen, a retired magistrate) studied many years earlier at Melbourne Uni. It's always been fun to hear them debate an issue. I guess its correct when they say all lawyers are right, and some more right than others.
Off-campus provides me with the flexibility in life to structure my dedication to law around my lifestyle. There is no doubt working my own program makes the attraction greater. Living in Queensland has plenty of temptations to lure you away from the books, and there are times when the temptations win, which means catch up in my quieter times.
It would be intellectually dishonest to suggest that Deakin Law off-campus is easy. The difficulty however, lies not solely in the content of law but rather in the management of this vocation. We all have priorities in life; families, health, fitness, social and financial commitments.
As a mature age student, studying law can be somewhat of an extravagance. Running my own development business and being father means there will be times when other priorities must take precedence.
Damian Bourke, fitting in some study
Managing time and sticking to a program (which I haven't quite managed fully yet) is a sure way to:
I was fortunate enough to have enjoyed and AFL career (a few years ago) and an old coach John Devine indoctrinated into us:
'You will only get out of this as much as you put in!'
I know this to be so true!
There are challenges ahead and whilst I aim to meet them all, the pragmatic side tells me the 'vicissitudes of life' (I got that phrase from Tort Lectures) may dictate otherwise.
All in all, I am extremely content with the decision to study law and could not be more impressed and satisfied with the way Deakin deliver their off-campus studies. For any future student (mature or other), if you have a passion for law don't be afraid to step forward and say "I will have a go!"
Good luck, you wont regret it!