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Practical learning prepares Millide for a career in law

After graduating from high school, Millide Evens enrolled to study law at university, but due to the pandemic, she had to study remotely, which didn’t suit her learning style.

"Growing up in Ipswich and graduating from a small school with just 20 other students, I didn't have a clear career path," explained Millide.

"I love researching and solving problems, and when I discovered working in the legal sector would challenge me intellectually and allow me to analyse and solve complex issues, I decided to study law and business.”

“However, my Autism and ADHD meant I struggled with remote learning during the pandemic, and I needed a physical classroom environment to learn."

Despite her challenges, Millide completed several classes but still felt she needed to prepare for the switch from study to work.

"I had discussions with several lawyers about their career journeys, and they all said don’t wait until after graduation to get experience – start as early as possible," Millide said.

"After researching entry-level legal jobs, I also found that being a paralegal or law clerk was a great way to gain experience and insights into the industry while studying."

Millide decided to take a year off university to study at TAFE Queensland and get practical legal knowledge to get an entry-level legal job while completing her degree.

"When I found TAFE Queensland's Diploma of Paralegal Services (BSB50720), I enrolled to gain the specialised skills and knowledge I needed to put me on the path to my overall career goal of being a lawyer," she said.

“The course was perfect; it gave me the practical legal knowledge I needed to work in the industry while completing my university degree.”

In just 12 months, the high-level diploma gave Millide an in-depth understanding of Australia's legal system and the administrative skills needed to support a team of law professionals.

She learned how to conduct legal research, maintain a legal filing system, follow legal instructions, and develop the skills to write complex documents and communicate in a legal service environment.

"Because my teacher, Luke Robson, is a lawyer, he brought real-life experiences to the classroom and explained complex topics in simple terms, so everyone understood them.”

Studying at TAFE Queensland's South Bank campus allowed Millide and her class to visit Queensland's parliament building, the Supreme and Magistrate Court, and local law libraries.

"It was eye-opening to see where our laws are created during a parliamentary session and how they are applied in the courtroom," explained Millide.

With classmates from various backgrounds, Millide was surrounded by people who shared her passion for the legal system, further enhancing her learning.

"My classmates ranged from school leavers to lawyers from other countries getting their Australian licenses. Everyone brought different perspectives and experiences to our class discussions.”

"We assisted each other in understanding specific topics, shared ideas and had conversations with the international students about their work experience as lawyers - it was so great to have those classmates,” she said.  

Armed with the industry skills and knowledge she needed, Millide graduated with the confidence to join Results Migration as a law clerk, where she’s now working while continuing her university studies.

Millide assists clients seeking visitor, partner, and parent visas daily and represents clients at the Administration Appeals Tribunal when visas have been refused improperly.

“The diploma is very hands-on and gave me the understanding and practical knowledge to perform tasks and find information - exactly what I do as a law clerk," continued Millide.

"TAFE Queensland taught me to create client files, send correspondence, and find and fill out the correct forms. I learnt to approach clients confidently, hold effective conversations and interviews, and write professional emails, professional skills I will use forever."

"Each day, I answer inquiries, draft visa applications, and research legislation and how it applies to individual clients. I'm grateful to have an employer supporting me during my studies while challenging me to continue learning for a successful legal career," she said.

Millide hopes to one-day study overseas, pursue a dual degree in international law and business, and work in international trade and corporate law.

“I want to study in Japan or China, as they have some of the best trade relations, and graduate with the qualifications and experience to work at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working on trade agreements and diplomatic matters.”

“While nothing is set in stone, I know working in law is where I want to be," concluded Millide.