After an eleventh-hour decision to switch to law from science, Michael Tourkakes discovered where his real talents lay.

Thanks to VU’s pathways program and abundant practical learning opportunities, he now runs an award-winning legal practice.

Michael shares his own career success story, beginning with a drastic change of direction.

Michael Tourkakes switched from science to law and never looked back.

A change of mind that led to success

I was always interested in a career in science or medicine, so my subjects in VCE were skewed towards those disciplines. But after my last exam in Year 12 I said to myself, ‘I don’t think I want to do science anymore!’

My future was clouded in uncertainty. So I caught up with our school’s careers practitioner and she guided me towards VU’s law pathway, beginning with the Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice. My passion for the law grew, so I applied and received an offer into VU’s Bachelor of Laws (with a full year of course credit).

The many practical placements I undertook during my studies gave me a step up in my career, as experience is so important to employers.

I undertook paralegal experience with Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre, followed by a summer clerkship at a law firm, and further volunteer work with Sunshine Legal Aid. I also handled real-life cases for local youth while on placement at Sunshine Youth Legal Service.

In my career I’ve jumped at every chance to develop leadership skills, which proved useful when launching my practice Judicate Lawyers with my business partner Michael Pickering in 2016.

In 2017 we received the Australian Business Start-Ups Law Firm of the Year from Corporate INTL magazine Global Awards.

I’m also proud to regularly judge on the panel of the Michael Kirby Mooting Competition and give back to VU.

Practical placements at courts, law firms and legal centres give students the career edge.

Want to find success like Michael?