I failed my first Torts exam.
While that was a long time ago, and I went on to become a leading academic in top Australian and overseas law schools, this result was devastating at the time. However it was also one of the best things that ever happened to me as it made me take seriously the "how" of studying law. And what I realised was that there is a structure and method to all law assessment – problem questions, essays, presentations and exams.
Once I learnt these structures, my law marks improved dramatically. I ended up doing really well at law school, and I went on to do an Honours Degree in Law, a Masters Degree in the UK, and a PhD. The skills I learnt in those early years (including how to do legal research, how to make a strong legal argument, how to write well, how to structure essays and problem questions, and how to prepare great study notes) have served me very well ever since.
So, when I was offered my first academic tutoring job a year after completing my Honours Degree, I decided to teach these techniques and skills to my students. Again I saw the difference they made. Not only did the quality of the students' work improve, so did their marks and their confidence. It proved that being smart only gets you so far in law school. The rest is about the skills and knowledge of how to study law.
Since then I have taught this information and techniques to thousands of students. And there have been the same results each time, whether I was teaching Corporations Law to 3rd and 4th year law students or Lawyers, Justice and Ethics to first year law students.
Another thing I did as a legal academic was to conduct research on law student wellbeing. This research was some of the first in Australia to show the high levels of stress and pressure that many students experience at law school, and to identify ways to alleviate that stress.
Alongside supporting students, my academic career enabled me to become an internationally recognised expert on foreign bribery and transnational corruption. In this role I worked with UNODC, IACA, the International Bar Association, and Transparency International.
In 2020 I moved to the South Coast of NSW to pursue my interest in academic writing and supporting law students. I believe that every law student deserves the knowledge and support to succeed - on your terms and in the way that is important to you. Whether this means getting good marks, finding a part-time legal job, being supported and accepted as who you are, getting involved in law school activities, advocating for social justice or finding a career direction that suits you - Law School Success is here to assist.
So please contact me if you would like to know more. And thanks for visiting Law School Success.