Isabella Denholm

Isabella Denholm

4th-year student, Bachelor of Laws & Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Whatever area of law you work in, you’re helping someone in some way, shape or form, says Isabella Denholm who is studying law and criminology, and is interning at MinterEllisonRuddWatts in addition to her studies.

“I chose to study law as I’ve always been passionate about justice and helping people. I knew law would be an incredible platform to achieve that; regardless of whether I pursued a legal career path or not. I also chose to study criminology as it complements my law degree well, and gives me a broader understanding of the law and the theories behind our criminal justice system. Law is such a dynamic degree that opens the doors to so many career paths.”

Now in the fourth year of her studies, Isabella already has a clear idea what area of the law she wants to specialise in.

“Once I graduate, I would love to be involved in the commercial law field. I love the high stakes of commercial law. I love the level of excellence required, the need for attention to detail and the overall problem-solving aspect inherent in studying and applying the law in a commercial context. Commercial law also caters to my love of partnership, engaging with people and helping people. But whatever area of law you work in you’ll be helping someone and that’s something I’m really passionate about.”

Engaging and supportive
She would highly recommend AUT’s law degree to other students, says Isabella who has received a number of top student awards throughout her studies.

“The law programme at AUT is engaging, interactive and quite simply a very interesting degree. Law teaches so much more than just legal code. It teaches critical thinking and writing skills, and how to analyse and engage with problems in unique and perceptive ways. I would thoroughly recommend this degree to both people who know they want to end up in the legal profession, and people who aren’t sure what they want to do, yet want to be challenged and inspired.

“I once heard somebody say they imagined law school would be akin to reading terms and conditions for four years – but the law experience at AUT most certainly proves this statement wrong.”

The supportive and encouraging academic staff have greatly impressed her.

“The staff care greatly about students’ success, both inside and outside of the university campus. The lecturers at AUT have an incredible ability to engage the class and to present content in a way that makes it applicable to everyday life. I’ve loved the thrill of understanding a hard legal concept and discussing it with my lecturers in class. The weekly tutorials have also given me a space to explore concepts, learn how they operate, and how they apply to the workplace and my own life experience.”

Starting university life
Adjusting to university life had its challenges at first, Isabella admits.

“University is a big jump from high school and the first year can be challenging, as you don’t know what the expectations are until your initial grades come in. I was super nervous about doing the right thing and getting good grades. However, AUT was incredible during this process and had numerous support strategies in place to guide students through this initial adjustment period. This is something I’m so grateful for.”

Give university your all, she advises other students.

“University life is pretty epic, and AUT certainly does it right. You get out what you put in. Accordingly, my advice would be to go to every lecture and tutorial. Go to all the networking and social events, and ask questions in class if you’re confused. AUT truly is there to help you and will do so in every way it can. So give it your all and I’m sure you will get a lot out of it.”

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