Mastering the Law

They are driven and ambitious and they've chosen to travel from around the world to undertake their Masters with Melbourne Law School. They're from different cultures and have different goals, but they all agree on one thing: their Melbourne Law Masters degree is already making a difference to their careers.

Chronox Manek is Papua New Guinea's Chief Ombudsman. He completed a Master of Laws (LLM) in 2008 because he wanted to learn about current and future developments in the law.

"Coming to Melbourne Law School and completing my degree has already cemented me the job as the nation's Chief Ombudsman," Chronox said.

"I was Public Prosecutor of PNG when I enrolled and was appointed Chief Ombudsman as soon as I completed the program in June 2008.

"Further important jobs await me."

Thalia Francis is Jamaica's Assistant Attorney General. She completed a Master of Tax in 2008.

"A Masters degree is an excellent means of shaping an expertise in an area," Thalia said. "I chose Melbourne because my research showed that the graduate program in tax was amongst the best in the world."

"Ever since my introduction to tax law I have had more than a passing interest in this area," she said.

"I believe tax is an important area of law but lawyers tend to avoid it because of its complexity and perceived tedium."

Thalia wants to teach tax law to students and young lawyers in a way that inspires them to take a greater interest in the subject.

"A Masters will give me the knowledge and qualifications to make that contribution to academia," she  said.

Luis García works in litigation for a Chilean law firm. He completed his Master of Commercial Law in June this year.

"I have always thought that it is fundamental to keep on studying," Luis  said.

"Working in commercial law, it is critical to stay up to date as this area is in a permanent path of development."

Najwa Shihab is a TV news anchor in Indonesia and about to complete her LM.

"One of the highlights of the learning experience has been the interaction and exchange of ideas that I have with the professors, practitioners and professionals who are truly experts in their field," Najwa said.

When she completes her degree, Najwa plans to return to her job as a TV journalist.

"I host and produce a weekly political talk show. My legal background helps me to be more critical in identifying various issues, especially in the legal and political scene of Indonesia."

"This degree will deepen my knowledge and broaden my perspective in analysing legal and political issues in a larger context," she said.

"It will also add to the credibility of my programs."

Lynna Cortés Rueda is a lawyer and accountant with Deloitte Colombia. She is expecting to complete a Master of International Tax this year.

"I am sure this degree will catapult my professional development", Lynna said.

"In fact, I was promoted to Manager shortly before coming to Melbourne, which indicates that my company agrees that I'll be better qualified after completing my degree."

The Melbourne Law Masters comprises Masters degrees and graduate diplomas across 20 core legal areas. Teachers include leading scholars, practitioners and visiting international experts. Classes are limited to 30 students and most are taught intensively over one week, offering convenience to full-time professionals.

Over 150 subjects are offered each year. In 2010, over 25 new subjects will be offered, covering issues including commercial contracts, the global financial crisis, planning law and sustainability. Areas such as construction, environmental and international law have also been expanded.

Courses and subjects may contribute to CPD requirements and all subjects are available as single subject enrolments.

This article originally appeared in MLS News, Issue 2, September 2009.