First Year Survival Guide 2014

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Published annually at the beginning of the year, the First Year Survival Guide aims to inform new and incoming students with all the information they need to know to enjoy their university experience.


  • First YearSurvival Guide

    N o t r e D a m e S y D N e y L a w S o c i e t y


  • Written by Caroline Michel

    Contributions byProfessor Michael Quinlan

    Kathryn Whybourne

    Imogen Leighton

    Alexander Carlos

    Design by Alexander Carlos

    Photographs byAlexander Carlos (Pages 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16)

    The University of Notre Dame Australia (Page 6)

    Evan Brettoner (Page 14)


  • From the PresidentFrom the Dean

    Who are we?Find us online!Other useful linksSurvival skills around campusWhat do we do?Exciting events this year

    The NDSLS CommitteeWe need a First Year Representative!Editor's Note




  • 4From the President

    How exciting! You have just started your LLB at the University of Notre Dame Australia. What lies ahead? Only you can determine how your years at this university will be.

    As I did, you may be about to begin your degree not really knowing which way is up. How will I make friends? When is enrolment? Do I have to fill out that form every

    semester? Whats a GPA? What is a clerkship? Where can I get a decent coffee around

    here (flick to page 9 for the answer) Does studying law get any easier? Where do I buy

    my textbooks?

    All of these initial questions whirring around your head without a teacher or a friend to let you know how things are done!

    The good news? The NDSLS have donned their red capes to come to your rescue!!!

    The NDSLS is a student run society committed to delivering law students at the UNDA, the extra tools needed to make the most of their law degree.

    The committee itself is made up of law students at Notre Dame, all at various stages of their law degree. Together, we combine all of our knowledge and experience at UNDA to bring you career events, social justice events, careers information and social events that we sincerely hope will enrich your experience in law school.

    If you are a new student, you need new friends, have a question, want to join us, want to compete in public speaking competitions, want to get your career kick started, need support you know who to come to!

    My 2 cents of advice for all new students?GET INVOLVED! Time flies when youre having fun right? Well time flies when you have friendly faces to see every single day of your degree!

  • 5JOIN the law society, JOIN that How I Met Your Mother club, MEET everyone, GO to the social events, COMPETE in a competition and GET TO KNOW your peers!

    See that girl or guy sitting next to you on the courtyard bench? You are most likely to see that person walking through the courtyard at least 100 more times this year.

    Those people in your Criminal Law class? You will study with them, go out with them, apply for clerkships with them, apply for internships with them, shed sweat and tears with them, argue with them about current affairs, cringe at their love for beef jerky,

    you may even become privy to the knowledge of their pet lizard, Frodo, that theyve been hiding under their bed since they were 12! So cosy on up to each other newbies, because the years ahead are going to be the best yet!

    Good luck & remember to come and introduce yourself to the NDSLS!

    Kathryn WhybournePresident

  • 6From the Dean

    Welcome to the Sydney Campus of The University of Notre Dame Australia and to the School of Law.

    The School of Law is here to support you in achieving your full potential as a law student irrespective of your chosen career path. Whether you choose to study law with the aim of joining the legal profession and working in a large commercial firm or in a smaller

    or suburban practice, as a barrister and advocate or as in-house counsel or a lawyer in the government or church/not for profit sectors or you simply wish to develop your

    legal expertise to augment your performance in another career, the School of Law provides an unparalleled legal education for all our students.

    The School of Law has a commitment to excellence and to developing graduates with a sound ethical grounding and real practical training. All of our academic staff have

    practised law as judges, barristers or solicitors. As an example, before commencing as the Dean of the School of Law in 2013, I worked for over 23 years at the large commercial law firm Allens, where I was a partner for more than 14 years. Our objective at the

    School of Law is to graduate students who not only know the law as an academic discipline but have the skills necessary to be great lawyers and well-rounded people. This is because we recognise that lawyers are an incredibly powerful group in Australian society not only do lawyers argue cases as advocates and not only are they the judges who interpret the laws and the Constitution but they are also heavily over-represented in all State and Federal parliaments and on the boards of Australias largest corporations. Just knowing the law is not enough. At Notre Dame we want to encourage all of our students to think and to think on some very difficult questions.

    Our undergraduate law degrees incorporate philosophy, ethics and theology, which is taught within the Catholic theological tradition.

    As a Catholic University, we teach within the context of Catholic faith and values and have a commitment to the pastoral care of our students. An essential requirement of any lawyer is the ability to consider and explain an argument. This is a skill which is

  • 7difficult to foster in huge lecture theatres overflowing with students. At Notre Dame

    we seek to maintain smaller class sizes so that all students have an opportunity to contribute and to grow. For example, in 2013 our average class size was 31.If you are joining us as a new student or returning to complete your degree I most wholeheartedly welcome you. If you are considering the School of Law on the Sydney Campus of Notre Dame and have any questions or require any further information about the University, the Sydney Law School or the degrees we offer, we would be delighted to hear from


    Professor Michael QuinlanDean School of Law, SydneyThe University of Notre Dame Australia

  • 8Who are we?1. A student society established in Sydney in 2006 at the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA). 2. A team of awesome and knowledgeable law students who want to make your time in law school at Notre Dame in Sydney the best possible!

    Other Useful LinksSurvive Law - Fun and informative!

    College of Law - Great tips and career advice Australian Law Students Association - Run by

    students, for studentsTips for Lawyers - A great blog by Chris

    HargreavesBeyond Law - News, jobs, and careers advice

    Lawyers Weekly - News and information community for lawyers

    Find us online!

    Facebook: /NotreDameSydneyLawSocietyInstagram: @NDSLS

    Twitter: @NDSLS

    Join the First Year Law Facebook Group!

  • 9Survival skills around campus

    Textbooks? The Co-Op bookstore is the place to go for all of your textbook needs. We have a

    store located next to the St. Benedicts building (NDS2), which have all the prescribed texts for the Broadway campus.

    You can become a life member of the Co-Op for only $10, and receive discounts on

    all of your books! Visit instore to find out how.

    KopyStop is a printing shop located at Shop 3/55 Mountain Street (off Broadway, across from NDS5) which prints unit readers for the university. Some subjects may require you to purchase a unit reader from here.


    Benitos is the university caf, located next to the Co-Op on Broadway. You can buy everything here - lunch food, snacks, cold drinks, coffee and great milkshakes. They

    have friendly staff and a great atmosphere. They also offer discounts for students.

    Project 8 is located across the road from St. Benedicts, and serve great food and coffee.

    House is a little local favourite, located on Shepherd St, Chippendale (next to the law school and near the library). The staff are chill and friendly and they have a

    surprisingly great lunch menu.

    Broadway and Central Park are the closest shopping centres.

  • 10

    Class?Whilst Notre Dame is a small university, the Broadway campus is spread across several buildings, with the Law School being especially difficult to find amongst the bikes,

    skateboards and hipsters of Chippendale. Here is a map, the Law School is NDS15:

  • 11

    What do we do?Social Events

    The social portfolio of the NDSLS provides the student body with important networking opportunities, where students and faculty have the chance to mingle with each other, as well as with professionals already operating in fields of law.

    2014 will see the return of our much-anticipated annual Law Ball, alongside our trivia nights and many other social events throughout the year.

    We hope that the events run by our social portfolio will create a relaxed environment for students to meet with each other outside of the classroom.

  • 12


    Facilitated by the Notre Dame Sydney Law Society, competitions are the number one way for you to build on your knowledge of the practical skills one must possess and evidence in the practicing of law.

    We run four internal competitions over the year: Negotiation, Client Interview, Mooting and Paper Presentation, held during lunchtimes and afternoons.

    Competitions are open to students of all stages of their degree, and are both fun, competitive, challenging and educational.

    Keep an eye out for our competitions launch BBQ to be held early in Semester One, and come along to find out more!

  • 13


    The careers portfolio is designed to ensure that each of our members have the best possible chance of furthering their careers by providing as many career based initiatives as possible.

    We will continue the success of our popular Careers Week which provides students with opportunities to engage with professionals from various legal career paths, and learn from many different firms, agencies and educational institutions about career


    Social Justice

    The purpose of this portfolio is to strengthen the passion of our colleagues for volunteering and involvement in human rights initiatives.

    This year we will be holding our second annual Social Justice Lecture! Last year we had the privilege of hosting Australias Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes AM, and together we were able to raise more than $2,000 in support of our 2013

    Fundraising Partner - The Homeless Persons Legal Service.

    We have an exciting year ahead of us and we would love your involvement! Its going to be a brilliant year at Notre Dame Law - we cant wait to share it with you!

  • 14


    The NDSLS is dedicated to enriching and supplementing the fantastic education you will receive at Notre Dame over the next four or five years. While there is no doubt

    you will be fine in the hands of the law school, we acknowledge that there are certain

    things you cant always learn in a seminar, or a lecture hall.

    The portfolio is primarily dedicated to facilitating communication and engagement between Notre Dame law students and ALSA (Australia Law Students Association). ALSA is an external society made up of law students from various universities and colleges around the country. They are dedicated to helping student societies facilitate various projects and initiatives. Each year they run an annual student conference, where law societies can send teams to compete in various student competitions, whilst also having the opportunity to socialise with other law students, and network with lawyers and other professionals.

    We are also hoping to expand the portfolio this year, and take on board new projects, such as an annual Mental Health and Wellbeing Day, as well as continuing the popular Study Boot Camp initiated in 2013.

    Exciting events this yearAnnual Law Ball, First Years morning tea, Social Justice Lecture, Competitions Launch BBQ, ALSA Conference (Brisbane), Competitions sign-up, ND Gift, study boot camp,

    Careers Week, Mental Health and Wellbeing Day, Beginning of Semester party... and many more!

  • 15

    The NDSLS CommitteeWe need a First Year Representative!

    We are looking for a new First Year Representative to join our team! Being on the committee is a great opportunity to become more involved in the events we run. Its a great way to get to know your cohort, and have lots of fun as well. Any first year

    can apply - so keep a look out on Facebook and our website for your opportunity to nominate!

    ... Oh and well give you three red frogs if you join.

    The NDSLS Committee 2014

    ExecutiveKathryn Whybourne, PresidentScott Rogers, Vice PresidentAlexander Carlos, TreasurerAleysha Azzopardi, Secretary

    DirectorsJeremy Maspero, CareersJulia Lavers, CompetitionsCaroline Michel, EducationPeter Gray, ITJulia Allcock, MarketingImogen Leighton, PublicationsLauren Absalom, Social EventsRachel Bennett, Social JusticeShelby Van Ooran, Sponsorship

    Visit our website to put a face to the name!

    Thats all folks!

    We wish you the best of luck in your degree, and we hope to see you soon at the First Year morning tea!

    Year RepresentativesSabrina Mobbs, Second YearElyse Di Stefano, Third YearCaitlin Gallagher, Fourth YearDaniella Brown, Mature Age Students

  • 16

    The Notre Dame Sydney Law Society (NDSLS) welcomes you to the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA)!

    Studying law is certainly no mean feat! Sometimes there will be sweat and sometimes there will be frustration ... and a lot of coffee. That is why the NDSLS are here to make

    things a little easier!

    Our annual First Year Survival Guide is here to get you through the basics of surviving law school!

    With love,

    Imogen LeightonPublications Director

    Editor's Note