Research has shown that TAFE graduates make great higher education students because they have the practical knowledge that can be applied to the subjects they study in an undergraduate degree. At VU, students can also receive up to one year's credit in their degree from their TAFE studies.
When Michael Tourkakes finished high school, after much deliberation he realised he wanted a career in the legal profession. But not having studied legal or business subjects at school, he was unable to pursue law at university.
Rather than be discouraged, he sought help from a career counsellor who suggested enrolling in VU's Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice, which would prepare him for further study.
He is now a junior solicitor at LAC Lawyers where he advises clients on a range of topics including intellectual property, unfair dismissal and taxation.
"The advanced diploma is an area of the industry that is different, but I saw it as a stepping stone that could get me into a law degree," says Tourkakes.
Law graduate Kate Bartlett shared a similar experience, but unlike Tourkakes, she knew she wanted to be either a lawyer or a pilot from a young age.
However she didn't meet the prerequisites for the Bachelor of Laws because legal studies had not been offered at her high school. She took the advice of a VU career counsellor and gained industry experience while she undertook related studies at TAFE, before completing her Law/Arts degree.
"The transition from diploma to degree was easy because I developed practical skills and an understanding of the profession during my diploma," says Bartlett.
Since graduating from her degree in 2011, she now works as a practising lawyer at Russell Kennedy, a commercial law firm in Melbourne's CBD.
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Find out more about Bachelor of Laws at VU.
Find out more about Law and Legal courses at VU.
Find out more about VU's study pathways.