6 April 2017
The University of the Sunshine Coast will celebrate the graduation of its first Law students tomorrow (Friday 7 April).
Ten eager legal eagles have completed USC’s Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry), an accelerated study program that was first offered when the USC Law School first opened in 2014.
Six of this group will cross the stage at a USC graduation ceremony at 1pm tomorrow at Matthew Flinders College Performance Centre, Buderim.
It will be one of nine USC ceremonies held at the centre this week. Media are invited to attend the remaining ceremonies at 10am, 1pm and 4pm tomorrow.
Top of the class is Chelsea Wallis, who will receive a University Medal for a grade point average of a 6.87 out of a possible 7, along with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours).
The 22-year-old from Marcus Beach is also the first USC student to receive an Una Prentice Award, presented by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland each year to the highest-performing female law students in Queensland.
Chelsea was awarded a USC Chancellor’s Medal when she completed a Bachelor of Business in 2013 aged just 18, making her the youngest female ever to graduate from USC.
She plans to use her Law degree as a pathway to a PhD at England’s Oxford or Cambridge universities.
“I really benefited from the individualised nature of the program, and its focus on practical experience from the get-go, which was wonderful for putting what we were learning into context and showing its relevance to the real world,” Ms Wallis said.
Head of the USC Law School Professor Pamela O’Connor said this foundation cohort of one of Australia’s newest law schools had benefited from programs developed with the latest teaching and learning methods, technologies and teaching spaces.
“Practical legal training opportunities were incorporated into program from the very first year, and included placements in a USC Advice Clinic operated in partnership with the Suncoast Community Legal Service and internships with local law firms,” Professor O’Connor said.
“In 2015 USC opened its moot court, with the look and feel of a real courtroom, providing students with hands-on teaching and student assessment activities through simulated court presentations.
“This group of students has helped to set the foundations for what follows, and have established high standards for student engagement.”
The USC Law School offers a suite of 13 Bachelor of Laws programs, which have been accredited for admission to legal practice in Queensland and throughout Australia.
USC will host a reception for the graduating students this evening ahead of tomorrow’s graduation ceremony.
— Clare McKay