Charles Sturt University's first law graduates

FIRST COHORT: CSU’s first Bachelor of Laws students are ready to graduate. Photo: FILE
FIRST COHORT: CSU’s first Bachelor of Laws students are ready to graduate. Photo: FILE

THE first students to complete the Charles Sturt University (CSU) law program will be conferred their Bachelor of Laws at the August graduation ceremony.

Starting in 2016, the CSU Bachelor of Laws program combines traditional ‘black letter’ law curriculum with Indigenous Australian content, sustainability, specialised regional law topics and a focus on embedding cultural competence.

CSU Centre for Law and Justice director Associate Professor Alison Gerard said the degree was internationally unique and it equipped graduates with the ability to pursue a dynamic law career, and be change-makers in the legal profession and their community.

“Our students are attracted to the online, flexible legal education we provide in a supportive learning environment,” she said.

“We bring students together at residential schools to promote collaboration with each other, with legal academics and to learn from the best practitioners in the legal profession.”

Student and law graduate, Ilvana Nanic, said being in the first intake meant she was emotionally invested in and excited by CSU’s law program.

We bring students together at residential schools to promote collaboration with each other, with legal academics and to learn from the best practitioners in the legal profession.

CSU Centre for Law and Justice director Associate Professor Alison Gerard

“Charles Sturt University not only offered flexibility, it also provided a supportive environment and unlike other institutions it encouraged us to think about the needs of Indigenous and other minorities in all aspects of law,” she said.

“Lecturers encouraged us to understand how we connect with different groups so that we get them the best outcome,” she said.

When describing her learning experience, Ms Nanic said the university’s strength was the support provided by academic staff.

“CSU wants you to succeed,” she said.

Ms Nanic said CSU’s residential schools were a prime opportunity for her to engage with lecturers and other students.

“I was fortunate enough to have met the country’s most successful barristers and Justices,” she said.

Charles Sturt University not only offered flexibility, it also provided a supportive environment and unlike other institutions it encouraged us to think about the needs of Indigenous and other minorities in all aspects of law.

CSU student and law graduate, Ilvana Nanic

“Connecting with other professionals and students is of significant benefit. It encourages you to form a good network within your chosen profession.”

CSU ombudsman and Bachelor of Laws graduate, Miriam Dayhew, said the opportunity to study online allowed her to continue working full-time.

“Staff made sure the residential schools were valuable by inviting practicing barristers and judges to speak and share their war stories so we could apply our knowledge,” she said.

Ms Dayhew said the course’s structure allowed her to focus on her interests and research them.

“Living in regional New South Wales I investigated GM (genetically modified) crops and used the information to talk to my farming neighbours,” she said.

Opting to fast-track her study, Ms Dayhew studied three sessions each year and said this was particularly helpful during the Christmas period when her work was typically quieter as it allowed her to focus on study.