Where are they now? With Poppy Jacobs
The CIJ catches up with former RMIT Juris Doctor student Poppy Jacobs to find out what she's been up to since graduating.
When did you graduate, what have you been up to since then?
I graduated in 2017, did my PLT through the College of Law and was admitted to practice in March this year. Towards the end of my law degree, I got my first legal job as a legal assistant at a private personal injury firm, and also did some work at RMIT as a tutor and research assistant. I’m now working as a solicitor at the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, which I’m really enjoying.
Tell us a little bit about your career journey and why you decided to pursue a law degree?
I did an undergraduate Arts Degree, and initially considered going into academia. I think that practising as a solicitor is much more suited to my strengths though – I really enjoy working with clients, attending court and using my analytical skills to solve problems. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be back at a university somewhere doing my PhD!
How well did the RMIT JD prepare you for your career?
So well. I really enjoyed the practicality of the RMIT JD, and some of the best learning experiences I had happened outside of the classroom. I remember accompanying a solicitor from the Mental Health Legal Centre to Dame Phyllis Frost Centre for legal visits, and getting to help out with file work. I also loved learning about ideas like ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ and ‘restorative justice’ – it just changed my whole perspective on what the law could do.
What involvement did you have with CIJ while studying?
One of the most memorable experiences of my law degree was being chosen to take part in the CIJ’s inaugural study tour to Auckland. I was also lucky enough to have lunch with the former Chief Judge of the County Court, his Honour Michael Rozenes AO QC, shadow VCAT Member Julie Grainger for a week and take part in an internship at the Court of Appeal – the list goes on!
If you had one piece of advice to give law students, what would that be?
Keep your exam notes – I promise you they’ll come in handy down the track! I would also strongly encourage law students to volunteer, in whatever capacity they can. Not only can volunteering give you a taste of what working in the legal industry is like, it can also help you to discover what areas of law really interest you.
Is there anything that surprised you about working in the legal sector?
The legal sector can seem like a daunting and competitive world at first, but there are so many great people out there willing to dedicate their time to mentoring and providing opportunities to young lawyers. All you have to do is ask!