Second year student balances study with being CEO

Passionate about addressing the "visible inequality in education in Australia," it was the capacity of law and law-makers to create social change that attracted second year student Morgan Koegel to the JD.

Morgan Koegel

"Be it through new legislation in Parliament, the interpretation of legislation by the courts, or just ordinary people asserting their legal rights, law is the cornerstone of change," she says.

Morgan's passion, in particular for addressing disparities in educational opportunity in Australia, derives from her work with the Engage Education Foundation.

Starting with Engage as a tutor in 2010, Morgan has held the role of CEO for over two years. The youth organisation, run entirely by university students, is a not-for-profit which provides educational programs at low or no cost to students regardless of their socio-economic or geographic boundaries.

Last year, Engage offered disadvantaged students over 560 free tickets to revision seminars, and their free online resources were accessed over 48,000 times.

To her surprise, what started as a mere part-time job has become a major source of inspiration for Morgan.

"I never knew I'd be so affected by what I encountered working in the education sector. And I never knew it would have such a big impact on my personal and professional trajectory," she says.

For Morgan, the decision to take up the JD was a no-brainer and accords perfectly with her work at Engage.

"My aim is to create the greatest change possible, and no other degree offers you the scope to do that."

Morgan has most enjoyed the opportunity to study public and constitutional law during first year and hopes to work either in the field of environmental law or in NGO management.

Nevertheless, she concedes her timetable is onerous. Being CEO entails being in the office every day, so Morgan has come up with ways to juggle her competing responsibilities.

"I use law lectures as breaks from the office, and vice versa. When you've been staring at a computer screen all day, it's amazing how interesting a contracts lecture seems in comparison."

Despite the strain, Morgan says she wouldn't have it any other way. She considers both her job at Engage and her studies to be too rewarding to resent the time sacrifice."I'm being given an opportunity to be a manager in my early 20s and I see every year the impact Engage has on both the marketplace and the students who come to our programs. At the same time I'm getting a first class legal training that will open up new doors in the future. It's win-win."