How do you study law?

The Later Law Students Network (LLSN) represents the interests of non-traditional Juris Doctor and Melbourne Law Masters students. In particular, our student advocacy is undertaken on behalf of mature age students, working professionals, self-sufficient students, and parents or carers. We welcome all later law students at other universities in Melbourne to attend our events!

 

 

Advocacy & Wellbeing

The LLSN acknowledges and celebrates diversity among students at MLS. Our aim is to be a voice for students toward an equitable and inclusive university environment.

 

The LLSN's advocacy and wellbeing work include representing later law students on panels and committees, conducting research into the issues that affect our members, writing submissions and position statements on university policies affecting later law students, and working collaboratively with MLS faculty and other student groups.

 

Careers & Networking

We host a number of events throughout the year that intend to utilize and build on the life experience of our members. These events include networking evenings and career-focused events.

 

Social

We run several social gatherings each year with a view to fostering collaborative and supportive relationships between the students of MLS.

about llsn

SAMANTHA MARKS

President

Samantha had sworn that she would never go back to uni. One small mountain of postgraduate debt was plenty to remind her that she had gladly exchanged youthful, humanitarian dreams for a hodgepodge career in IT. She was living the semi-hipster Melbourne dream, in an open plan office with a median age of 33, a ping pong table and a beer fridge. She knew there was more to life than this.

After two years of study and reflection, Samantha hopes to pursue a career in criminal defence. For now she expects to continue to have perfect moments of inspiration smashed against the walls of harsh reality and human limitation, because that’s what post-adolescence is supposed to feel like. She hopes to encourage her bright, high-achieving peers to take full advantage of the support and resources available and to try and enjoy the ride with her.

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CARLOS COHEN-LEON

Secretary

During his nearly ten-year professional career, Carlos has worked in both the public, and private sector, collaborating with the Mexican Federal Government, and Legislative Branch in the former, and several law firms in the latter.

Since his arrival to Melbourne in early 2018, Carlos has been a Corporate and Commercial Paralegal for law firms such as Neville & Co., and Minter Ellison, and has carried out responsibilities as a project consultant for ContractProbe.

 

On December 29, 2018, Carlos became married to his fiancé Ericka Flores in a Civil ceremony celebrated in Fontana, CA with close friends, and family.

 

In 2018, Carlos was the LLSN First Year Representative, and is looking forward to continuing his service as Secretary for the 2019 academic year. Carlos finds his motivation to serve from helping others in a similar situation, and understands that students of a more advanced age might not necessarily identify with the platforms, or goals of the Melbourne University Law School Student Society, and wants to provide a space for mature students to discuss and resolve their concerns.

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SVERRE GUNNERSEN

Treasurer

Sverre completed his PhD in 2014, is the co-founder of two successful startups, and has worked as a contractor for the Procurement Division of the then Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. He took on the role of Treasurer for the Later Law School Network for the year starting 2018 based on his experience in accounting and finance, with the goal of assisting the LLSN in providing services to the minority of JD students that enter the degree as mature age, parents or carers.

LLSN Representative

The Later Law Students Network is now recruiting representatives from all MLS JD year levels and Masters students.

The 2022 LLSN Committee

Richard Pagone

President

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Aaron Wandenden

Treasurer

Aaron has experience in his career in financial analysis and corporate management, with several forays outside of what could be considered a traditional path to the law. This includes working in the commercial broadcast industry and managing retail businesses, like JB Hifi, and developing a breadth of knowledge through a degree in economics in 2007.

Since he was a young man, however, Aaron has had a strong desire to pursue a law degree. He sees the opportunity to join the JD program at the University of Melbourne Law School in 2020 as connected to a fortunate confluence of circumstances, and counts the support of his family as a substantial factor in this endeavor.

 

Aaron is clearly motivated by the commercial aspect of the law, but is similarly driven by the academic and doctrinal side, leading to significant engagement with theories of law and democracy. He has volunteered with the MLS Tax Clinic as a student volunteer, providing guidance to at-risk and unrepresented individuals and small businesses, and has a keen interest in issues related to indigenous sovereignty and critical studies of law.

Above all, Aaron embraces the LLSN and the goals it seeks to pursue, and the needs it is eager to address. This support structure and community should appeal to older law school students with a range of interests, perspectives and experiences that are diverse from the younger cohorts at the law school. At the LLSN, we are committed to creating a space where such non-traditional students can find a voice, and the resources to improve their education and their path to a field of employment.

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Richard has spent the past decade continuing to expand his experience and skillset across multiple degrees and work in a variety of fields. While health concerns have at times delayed this progression, Richard is thrilled to be close to completion of the Melbourne JD and excited at the prospect of entering the legal profession, and recognises the support of those around him which allowed him this fortunate opportunity.

With degrees in Criminology and Modern Languages, Richard has always had a strong interest in academics and its practical applicability. Richard has been lucky enough to enjoy some rewarding early professional experiences in government and insurance investigations. Ultimately, however, these were not the path he wanted to pursue, prompting the career change into the law.

The JD has already proved to be a fantastic pathway into early experience and exposure to the industry. Through it Richard has had the opportunity to volunteer at an employment law community legal centre (JobWatch), meet countless industry professionals and mentors, and will be undertaking MLS Tax Clinic, providing tax advice to underserviced, vulnerable individuals and small businesses.

 

Richard discovered the LLSN following acceptance into the JD program and became a member before even commencing the degree. After serving in supporting roles, he took on the position of President for 2022 with the goal of re-launching the network and helping it reach its potential as a means of connecting and serving the unique JD cohort of those who have returned to study as mature age, parents, or carers.

Jodie Boyd

Secretary

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Benedicta Rousseau

Wellbeing Director

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