At Play in the Field of Dreams: Theorising Attitudes, Perceptions and Practices of Law Students in conjunction with the Reflections of Early Career Commercial Lawyers

Barry Yau   | Bio
ANU College of Law, Australian National University
David Catanzariti | Bio
ANU College of Law, Australian National University
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Abstract

Australian law schools are tasked with forming students in their knowledge and understanding of the law, with many students aiming to fulfil their dreams of pursuing a legal career. Utilising Bourdieu’s conceptual tools, this article considers whether aspirations of being “real lawyers” are significantly influenced by motifs of career success predominantly linked to an “elite” tier of law practice. The attitudes and perceptions of law students can also positively or adversely shape their career path amidst the information at play in the law school space. Drawing on qualitative data, we have applied Bourdieu’s tools to understand undergraduate and practical legal training students’ responses to notions of career accomplishment. This is contrasted with the reflections of early career commercial lawyers about their law school experiences. With comparisons to contemporary surveys and research on student services for law students, along with their wellbeing, the article reasons that the assorted ambitions of law students requires a law school environment promoting a more diversified perspective of “real law” and “real lawyering”.

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How to Cite
1.
Yau B, Catanzariti D. At Play in the Field of Dreams: Theorising Attitudes, Perceptions and Practices of Law Students in conjunction with the Reflections of Early Career Commercial Lawyers. LiC [Internet]. 2020Dec.12 [cited 2021Jan.23];37(1):1-20. Available from: https://journals.latrobe.edu.au/index.php/law-in-context/article/view/116

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