Meet Mariana: Bachelor of Arts and Melbourne JD graduate

When Mariana was in Year 3, she was awarded student with the greatest ability to solve problems in the school yard. Ever since, she wanted to become a lawyer.

Today, she has achieved her goal. A graduate of the University’s Arts Law pathway completing the Bachelor of Arts and Melbourne JD (Juris Doctor) in 2018, she secured a job with international commercial law firm Ashurst.

Mariana credits her Bachelor of Arts as foundational to her success.

"I always knew that I wanted to be a lawyer, but in order to be a successful candidate for the Melbourne JD and to future employers I thought I needed to have the breadth of skills and the depth of knowledge that the Bachelor of Arts gave me," says Mariana.

Mariana’s journey to law school

Mariana began to explore the legal world with VCE legal studies at Mercy College in Coburg North. She continued her law and justice studies throughout the Bachelor of Arts, completing subjects such as Human Rights and Global Justice.

"Doing Human Rights and Global Justice gave me a taste of what law school would be like, and I really enjoyed that," explains Mariana.

The flexibility of the Arts Law pathway allowed Mariana to pursue interests outside of law as well – something unique to Melbourne. Students at Melbourne complete a three-year undergraduate degree that includes study beyond your chosen major with our breadth program, followed by a specialised graduate degree.

"My majors in the Bachelor of Arts were criminology and sociology, while my breadth subjects allowed me to pursue my passion for languages," says Mariana.

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Life as a Melbourne student

Campus life at Melbourne gave Mariana the opportunity to build deep friendships with her peers. As a Bachelor of Arts student, she joined various clubs and societies including the debating team. During her Melbourne JD, Mariana became treasurer for the law student publication, De Minimis.

While, studying her Melbourne JD Mariana also took the chance to travel the globe. Choosing to travel to New York and Washington DC for the subject, Global Lawyer. In America, she was able to visit to the Pentagon and American law firms to experience international organisations in practice.

"That opportunity solidified my passion for innovation and the law by learning from people with global industry experience," explains Mariana.

Being able to complete three years of study prior to beginning her graduate law studies at Melbourne, meant that Mariana’s transition to the Juris Doctor was smooth and gave her certainty that she wanted to pursue law.

"During my undergraduate degree my skills were gradually built up to ensure that by my first year of law school I was ready to hit the ground running. The staff also guide and support you to navigate your way into the study of law."

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