Login

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

September 23, 2023, 08:00:40 am

Author Topic: Does it matter what subject I major in for Arts/Law?  (Read 1762 times)  Share 

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Art Vandelay

  • Victorian
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
  • Respect: +12
  • School Grad Year: 2012
Does it matter what subject I major in for Arts/Law?
« on: January 19, 2013, 07:53:07 pm »
0
So I'm currently in the process of enrolling into Monash Arts/Law. I'm leaning towards doing a double major in Italian (post-VCE), and Japanese (beginner). Am I at a disadvantage for studying these two subjects instead of, say, political science or international relations?

I'm not really sure as to what field I want to work in after completing the degree, but I'm considering work as a solicitor in a firm, or perhaps foreign diplomacy. I've read that foreign diplomats come from a variety of fields (including law), and the ability to learn languages is highly sought after. But would a law firm prefer me to study something else? I'm interested in literature and philosophy, but I know that I'd have a lot more fun studying languages at uni.

Would the electives (eg International Law) in later years of the law component of the degree be sufficient to gain entry into a niche field? Or would I have to study relevant courses in my arts degree?

Thanks!
Monash Arts/Law

lynt.br

  • Victorian
  • Forum Leader
  • ****
  • Posts: 652
  • Respect: +50
Re: Does it matter what subject I major in for Arts/Law?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 11:56:20 pm »
+1
So I'm currently in the process of enrolling into Monash Arts/Law. I'm leaning towards doing a double major in Italian (post-VCE), and Japanese (beginner). Am I at a disadvantage for studying these two subjects instead of, say, political science or international relations?

No.

The thing that you need to learn is that life after uni is not about prerequisites. Provided you meet any legislative requirements to practice (i.e. having a law degree) then whatever career you end up in depends on how well you can sell yourself.

Employers don't care about what degrees you have studied, they care about you - what your interests are, what your experiences are, what your strengths are. If you can demonstrate that you have a passion and talent for international law, then it doesn't matter what subjects you picked.

Also law firms probably won't even look at your non-law degree subjects.

TLDR version is do languages if you will enjoy them. Never do a subject purely for career reasons.

ninwa

  • Great Wonder of ATAR Notes
  • *******
  • Posts: 8267
  • Respect: +1021
Re: Does it matter what subject I major in for Arts/Law?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 01:19:26 am »
+1
Study languages if you enjoy them! Law can be a tough slug at times, and having something fun in your arts degree can provide a nice break. (Not that languages are easy - I did French and German and it was hard, hard work, but for the large part enjoyable)

Knowing languages is definitely a plus for diplomacy-related careers - especially Asian languages (although the level of fluency you'll achieve starting from scratch at uni won't be sufficient - have you considered going on exchange?)

I have to check the DFAT media releases page every week at work, and newly appointed diplomats (High Commissioners and such) to foreign countries will often have something like a masters in [language relevant to the country they have been seconded to]. Interestingly, a lot of them DON'T have law degrees but rather things like Masters in International Relations and such.

Also I hear the UN graduate programs require you to know at least 3 languages (from what I've heard anyway - I haven't checked it out myself but a girl from work is interested in it)

edit: anecdote from someone I know who is now a lawyer at a top tier law firm whose name I forget for the moment - one of her fellow graduate junior lawyers said the interviewing partners were highly interested in the activities that had absolutely nothing to do with law - e.g. the fact that she was a national-level ballet dancer and the fact that she worked in retail for a long time. It showed that she had, well, a life outside of law, and an ability to work in a team yadayadayada. Something for you to think about as well - law firms don't solely care about your degree!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 01:25:29 am by ninwa »
ExamPro enquiries to [email protected]

Art Vandelay

  • Victorian
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
  • Respect: +12
  • School Grad Year: 2012
Re: Does it matter what subject I major in for Arts/Law?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 03:47:20 pm »
0
Thanks for that Ninwa! I think I'll go ahead and do Italian and Japanese then :D
Monash Arts/Law