Law School Reform, a Facebook group created by final year ANU law student Melanie Poole has launched a report titled “Breaking the Frozen Sea” looking at the issues of legal education at ANU and calling for improvements.
Select lines from the foreword outlining the report’s motivations (and no, it’s not sarcasm, these are serious statements):
We had scored within the top five per cent of our nation and entered an elite institution. The world had told us that we were special, successful, capable of great things. Like all people, we were driven by a desire to be important. Most of us believed that this importance would be accomplished by changing the world for the better.
By third year, I took a full time job. I did not attend many of my courses and I stopped buying the textbooks.
Law schools are places where many of the world’s smartest, most privileged, most powerful (or about-to-be-powerful) people accumulate.
The report makes a decent effort actually, hubris aside. However to the employers of law students in Canberra who will be receiving their copy of this soon, can I assure you not all law students think they’re “special”.
Many are driven by altruistic desires to change the world, not a need to be important. And most embrace socio-economic diversity in the ranks, not believing it to be a place for the privileged only.