From the JD to the University of Oxford

JD student Kalia Laycock-Walsh is heading to the University of Oxford to complete the Bachelor of Civil Law, the most highly esteemed masters-level qualification in the common law world.

Kalia Laycock-Walsh

Melbourne JD students have the opportunity to earn combined degrees in law from a number of esteemed institutions including New York University, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

Ms Laycock-Walsh successfully applied to Oxford, where she will combine 2.5 years of the JD with 1 year of the Oxford Bachelor of Civil Law. The program is highly competitive and successful students are often granted scholarships based on their outstanding results.

While Laycock-Walsh expects law at Oxford to be challenging, she is excited to meet the students and academics and to access the pathways provided by this 800-year-old institution. “Oxford is very well respected in the Australian legal profession and the alumni community includes a lot of distinguished people. I think the degree will help me whatever path I take in law,” she says.

Laycock-Walsh completed her undergraduate degree in International Studies and travelled to both China and Germany on exchange. “I had a fantastic experience so it was a natural step to investigate the options for international study in the JD,” she says.

Laycock-Walsh was drawn to the Melbourne JD as a way to develop her existing skills and qualifications: “I was looking for an interesting, professional job that is intellectually challenging,” she says.

The academic rigour she found among students and staff at MLS made a big difference to her experience. “I have some great lecturers in the JD. They have not only made a difference to my day-to-day but to the course of my legal career,” she says.

“I studied the High Court decision Williams v Commonwealth in Professor Cheryl Saunders’ Constitutional Law class. It’s an historical case in which Professor Saunders is cited by a number of judges in that judgement. I really appreciated that moment; realising we were having the case explained by an academic the court had relied on for the decision was amazing.”

Laycock-Walsh is looking forward to expanding on her MLS experience while at Oxford. “I hope to have an interesting and enriching experience at an amazing university,” she says. After completing the JD and the Bachelor of Civil Law, Laycock-Walsh plans to do an internship in London in human rights or social justice and will commence a graduate position at Allens in Melbourne in 2018.

By Cecilia Dowling