The University of Newcastle, Australia

For Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice student Hannah, new means using the law to help those most in need.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) with a double major in Government & International Relations and German, Hannah’s curiosity about the world around her only grew.

She began work in the not-for-profit sector, supporting people with complex needs and mental health issues. Then, after a few years, she started to work with victims of crime.

“Soon I wanted to know more about the systemic barriers many people were facing. Victims often get lost or overlooked in the justice system,” said Hannah.

“I want to help our community change and to do this, I need to understand the legal system from the inside out.”

Hannah began researching possible postgraduate degrees. She found that at most other law schools, once you finish your Juris Doctor you must then undertake practical legal training and supervised legal workplace experience before you can apply to be a lawyer.

Hannah says she gravitated towards the University of Newcastle because the Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice combines all three, meaning she’d be ready to practice law after three years of full-time study, without further supervision or training.

“Studying a postgraduate law degree while I am working in the sector gives me a unique insight into how the law works from many angles.”

Since beginning her studies, Hannah has jumped on board the many opportunities offered by the Newcastle Law School to support students in developing and testing practical legal skills and experience.

“I am participating in the 2018 University of Newcastle Law Students Association (UNLSA) Mooting Competition. I feel like I’ve jumped in the deep end and am suddenly practicing skills in legal advocacy and argumentation. Every round, we receive feedback from judges or legal practitioners which has been invaluable.

“It’s been an exciting learning opportunity.”

“I’ve (also) been to networking evenings, interesting guest lectures, met local practitioners and visited law firms.”

Hannah has been lucky enough to attend two conferences through her connection with the Newcastle Law School during her first year of studies.

“Through these opportunities, I have encountered ways of thinking completely new to me, and have come to know the teaching staff much better, which is very inspiring.

“As a young woman, I feel encouraged seeing such a range of female academics around me and am proud to be part of a school that supports and is led by women,” added Hannah.

“It’s been an incredibly supportive and stimulating study environment in my first year of the degree.”

Hannah has her sights on a career in policy reform, perhaps, she says, for the Australian Law Reform Commission.

“I’d like to improve our legislation and see the justice system work better for everyone.”

Study a Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

Hannah Stenstrom

Hannah Stenstrom

Studying a postgraduate law degree while working in the not-for-profit sector, has given Hannah a unique insight into how the law works from many angles.

I want to help our community change and to do this, I need to understand the legal system from the inside out.