Meet our student

Kiri Joyce


Course of study:
Bachelor of Legal Studies

‘Since studying at La Trobe, I feel I am much better at looking critically at my own opinions, admitting when I am wrong, making up my own mind, and changing it when necessary.’

‘When I started at university I didn't have any idea of where I wanted to go with my studies. However I followed what I was interested in, and with the help of my tutors and lecturers, found that I have a passion for Legal Studies. Initially I wanted to study at La Trobe because of the Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree.Though I ended up doing a Legal Studies degree instead, a decision I am now very grateful for.

‘What I love about La Trobe is its ethos. From my experience in finding my feet when I started studying, I know my teachers are invested in my success, and will go the extra mile to make sure I have everything I need to thrive.

‘Since studying at La Trobe, I feel that I am much better at looking critically at my own opinions, admitting when I am wrong, making up my own mind, and changing it when necessary. In one of my favourite speeches, Tim Minchin (comedian) said at a graduation ceremony: “Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the veranda and beat them with a cricket bat. Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, and your privilege.” I feel like my studies have equipped me to do that, which I think is an invaluable lesson and skill.

‘In the third year of my course, I had a very successful placement at the Women’s Legal Service Victoria, working on a submission on family violence to the Royal Commission. My task during placement was to write a series of case studies, based on women’s experiences of the legal system at the Magistrates’ Court. The case studies highlighted particularly problematic areas within the justice system for family violence victims. These case studies were later used by the Policy & Projects Manager either to be used directly in, or to inform the final submission.

‘I continued volunteering there after my placement for the rest of the year. While volunteering, my duties included: assisting lawyers and project managers in the areas of policy and project research; working with translators and conducting interviews with translator assistance (which helped me brush up on my Spanish!); attending court; and assisting with daily administrative tasks.

‘This year I’ve started my Honours degree, looking at the institution of marriage. Specifically, I’m studying the case for marriage as a predictor of psychological wellbeing, and the ways in which marriage can uniquely facilitate a sense of belonging, security, connectedness, and acceptance. I am analysing the notion of “married privilege”, and how it relates to social inequality, specifically inequalities experienced by same-sex couples who are currently denied the right to marry in Australia.

‘On the whole, my four years at La Trobe have been the best of my life so far. I've learned so much, academically and personally, and feel very well-equipped for the professional world.’

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